GamCare is the leading national provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling. We operate the National Gambling Helpline, where trained advisers are available seven days a week on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk. We also offer a range of free treatment across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as a moderated Forum and daily chat-rooms so that people can speak to others experiencing similar issues and seek support.
We also provide targeted outreach and risk reduction programmes to help reduce gambling related harms, as well as working with the gambling industry to encourage higher standards of safer gambling practices to improve player protection.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
GamCare supports more than 30,000 people every year who are affected by gambling-related harms. We provide support in person, over the phone and online. Many people tell us they have thoughts of suicide because of the way that gambling has impacted their lives, and our teams work hard to keep them safe both in the short and longer term. We support family members affected by gambling and encourage opportunities to talk to each other where possible.
What are your current priorities?
We are committed to increasing awareness of our services so that people know where to turn to for support. We are increasing the choice and accessibility of our services, as well as expanding the reach of our support and treatment for gamblers and their loved ones. This includes sourcing new locations from which to provide our treatment services, as well as piloting a 24-hour helpline from October and introducing guided online treatment modules based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
What challenges are you currently facing?
We recognise that we need to increase awareness of our services so that individuals and families know that they are not alone when facing gambling related problems. We are also committed to increasing the availability of these services across Great Britain although as with other charities and third sector providers this presents resourcing challenges.