Making Christmas preparations this year is going to be very different for all of us. At Gordon Moody our staff make preparations for Christmas every year as well.
Yes, like everyone else we’ll be sorting out presents, the food and how to spend time with loved ones as best as we can give Covid restrictions.
But our staff will be going the extra mile in providing a strong level of support for problem gamblers and their affected others this year, because we want to make a challenging time less stressful and create an opportunity for all to enjoy the season as best as possible.
Problem gambling and its associated challenges do not stop for Christmas. If anything, the challenges can intensify, and we set ourselves up to ensure we are there to support and help gamblers, families, and friends at a testing time.
It is one of the toughest times of the year for problem gamblers and their families. There are the financial pressures, the lure of extra gambling options with so much more sport happening, and many other triggers that can exacerbate the problems.
This year there are the added pressures we have all been feeling due to Covid and its underlying impact on mental health.
A few years back we decided to continue our residential service throughout Christmas meaning that residents did not have to go home, which was always the case previously.
Gambling Therapy (GT) also offers a service and over Christmas staff will be taking phone calls for both GT and Gordon Moody. This year callers will also be able to contact us regarding applications and other enquiries throughout the festive period for the first time.
Allowing residents to remain in treatment over the festive period was driven by a number of things. Firstly, there was a feeling that missing one Christmas is worth it if you get to enjoy Christmas every year after, gambling free with loved ones.
That idea of sacrificing one Christmas is something many more people will relate to this Christmas period, knowing that the right behaviour can help so much in keeping others safe for the long run.
Also, many of the ‘temptations’ that can trigger addictive behaviour in gamblers, such as alcohol and Boxing Day being one of the biggest gambling days in the calendar, does present a significant risk to residents at our centres. This was especially so because people felt they only had a limited period of ‘freedom’ before coming back to Gordon Moody.
And we also want to ensure our helplines offer support at a time when emotions can run high.
Life, family, friends, and festive memories are something we will all appreciate even more this year. But we know as well that life is not a fairy tale and, we’ll be here to help those who need it over Christmas and New Year.
We hope you have a good one, whatever your plans are.
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
Gambling Act Review
You may have seen that the UK government announced the launch of its gambling review this week. We are hoping to play a part in certain key areas, particularly on the urgent need for more resources to be put into treatment.
The review has provoked a lot of media interest in Gordon Moody and our views on the gambling review, which we are happy to comment on if we think it is appropriate to what we do.
And this increased interest has coincided with our major announcement about setting up the first women’s residential treatment centre in the world.
We had coverage on ITV national news with Matthew Hickey and Kerri Nicholls being interviewed, and there have been appearances on national radio and coverage in newspapers as well.
We’re pleased to be getting this coverage because it all helps our cause to support those people who need it. But, we’re also pleased because we can confidently make the case for more resources for treatment, in advance of any government decision, showing the sort of commitment and innovation that are needed to get the right resource and expertise in place.
GMA in the News
Following on from our blog last week when we spoke of our plans to open a women’s specific treatment centre we were proud to release further information to the press of our plans. You can see the ITV news feature with Matthew and Kerri here
We have also seen a number of articles written about our future plans this week, to keep up with the latest happenings at GMA you can find us on social media through the links below.
Stay safe, look after yourself and each other.