Here’s me thinking we were slowing down! Another week has passed us by in no time at all and as we enter into the long May bank holiday weekend has anyone stopped to think about our journey over the last 6-8 weeks?
I have recently taken some time off work and it was only on my return that I realised how much is changing at GMA as well as in our sector and in our lives.
The current situation has meant we have had to change and adapt many of our services at GMA but it has also helped us to think about how we intend to provide the best possible support for those most affected by problematic gambling going forward. We completed over 250 interactions with our residential service users last week through phone and video chat as well as hundreds more worldwide through our international Gambling Therapy service which continues to be busy.
Many countries around the world are starting to relax their lockdown measures and hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel in the UK too with the Prime Minister set to outline plans on Sunday. Whilst social distancing measures are sure to stay in place for some time to come, the commencing of a return to normal will come as welcome news to many not least those waiting to enter treatment for gambling addiction at Gordon Moody. Much planning and preparation has been done ready to welcome new residents to our treatment centres with much needed refurbishments nearing completion in Beckenham and planned for Dudley, a huge thank you to everyone both at GMA and externally who have made this possible. The success of our virtual support for residents pre and post treatment, affected others and overseas clients will not be lost as we return to normal and will continue to form a vital part of our programme. As with many organisations during this period the welfare of our colleagues has been of paramount importance to us and we will continue to offer support, training, mindfulness, and protected time. For anyone providing help and support to others it is so important they look after themselves too.
Opinions, facts, and the perception of what’s true
It is difficult to know what is really going on at the moment isn’t it! In the news the figures published relating to coronavirus are interpreted differently depending on the agenda of the author. We often choose to get our information from sources that are in alignment with our own beliefs, whether it be the newspaper you read or the people you follow online. Very often the statistics/data/numbers that are presented are the same, it is the interpretation of those numbers that leads us to believe whether the news is good or bad, a success or a failure (Coronavirus testing anyone?). This has been highlighted with the ongoing discussion around gambling advertising. Today marks the start of a voluntary ban on all gambling advertising by members of the Betting and Gaming Council, whilst some see this as a positive step there are also those that do not think this goes far enough and online advertising as well as direct emails and texts from operators should also be addressed. It is completely reasonable to suggest that in these times with people watching more tv and using more screen time that the perception is that there is more gambling advertising at this time but is that really the case? These two articles offer different opinions on the subject.
What do you think? What is your perception of the industry? Feel free to join the conversation by following us on social media, addresses at the bottom of this blog.
Something that we can be sure of during this period is that less people are reaching out for help with their gambling but people are without a doubt more vulnerable, of the previously mentioned 255 interactions carried out by GMA last week 80% were us reaching out. If you are concerned about your gambling help is available you can contact us online www.gordonmoody.org.uk or call us 01384 241 292 our Gambling Therapy service is also available providing online, international support for anyone affected by problem gambling www.gamblingtherapy.org alternatively you can find support at www.begambleaware.org and www.gamcare.org.uk who also run the 24hr national gambling helpline 0808 8020 133.
Thanks for reading
Look after yourselves everyone, take care of each other and stay safe.