As we’re often saying at present, there was a lot going on this week.
The twists and turns of dealing with the Covid pandemic are being heroically dealt with by our staff at residential centres and in outreach, and we’ll feature more on that in future blogs.
Tackling the challenges faced by women gamblers has been one of the other dominant themes of this week.
Our chief executive Matthew Hickey appeared before the All-Party Parliamentary group on Gambling-related Harm on Monday 25 January, which looked at women and gambling.
Women with lived experience gave very moving testimony to the group which was backed up by Matthew showing the impact of the specific women’s treatment Gordon Moody already provides – the retreat and counselling service – and the new residential centre for women that will be opened later this year.
Alongside that was a very powerful item on BBC Women’s Hour on Monday 25 January.
As well as some moving personal accounts the programme took up the challenges around shame, stigma and the need for more treatment and support for women.
The programme also mentioned the current work and treatment options Gordon Moody provides for women and our future plans.
New ways of working because of the pandemic was a theme at GambleAware’s virtual conference that took place this week.
Dave Hollingsworth, our manager at the Beckenham residential centre, gave a presentation to the conference on how the organisation had switched to online treatment and support almost overnight at the start of the pandemic.
Dave showed that by using online daily support groups, WhatsApp and building new networks, Gordon Moody staff stayed in regular contact with all those who needed our support.
Dave added that the new ways of working had been so successful – adding in weekly question and answer sessions with guest speakers and ex-residents, and building family and friends support networks – that it had made the organisation consider how it operated in future. He concluded that virtual outreach would continue and run alongside face-to-face sessions even after Covid restrictions have been substantially eased.
Mental Health and Debt
Last week our blog focused on mental health and wellbeing and some of our team followed that up this week with a meeting with a team from the Money and Mental Health charity.
Money and Mental Health is an independent charity, committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems.
They say that people with mental health problems are three and a half times as likely to be in problem debt and they have set out to challenge and change that.
Gambling debt is one area of work they are looking into and published a report in 2020 called A Safer Bet . It reported a survey that showed 24% of people with mental health problems experienced financial problems as a result of gambling online.
A really useful discussion took place on how the two organisations can share data and work together in future in a number of key areas.
Please remember we are open, we are here to help, and we are still accepting applications for residential and other treatment, whatever the twists and turns of the Covid regulations.
Let’s Tackle Gambling Addiction Together.
To apply for treatment at Gordon Moody visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or for more information call us on 01384 241292.
The National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 call free on 0808 802 0133.
Until next week, stay safe everyone. Look after yourself and each other.
And don’t forget you can keep up to date with the latest news from GMA by following us across our various social media channels.