This week’s blog is from Gordon Moody’s Chief Executive Matthew Hickey
What a week. That’s something we’ve been saying quite a lot lately.
It’s been a full-on week for all our staff stepping up to the challenge of keeping our services running during lockdown and supporting those who need our help. (See below)
And it’s been busy in other areas too.
I did know at the start of the week that I would be giving evidence to the all-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on gambling related harm and also speaking to Professor Simon Dymond from Swansea University about options for residential treatment centres in Wales and related issues. But I didn’t anticipate that I’d be contacted by the Bishop of St Albans asking to be a signatory to a letter to the Times to call for support in a change to the law on recording suicides due to gambling harm. (which I did on behalf of Gordon Moody).
All of these opportunities are part of an evolving conversation about how best to tackle problem gambling across the UK, following reports showing the impact on gamblers of the Covid pandemic and the pressures of long-term lockdowns and social distancing.
The APPG were especially interested on the wider picture of how family and friends were being affected during the current covid crisis, and also if isolation and financial problems were causing a rise in mental health concerns.
I was able to report on the excellent and important work being done by Gordon Moody staff in this area. Showing that we weren’t just getting the data to illustrate what is happening, but also showing how our frontline staff were doing innovative work and responding quickly to really help affected others cope better with extraordinary pressures during an incredibly challenging period.
And, while it was vital to ensure Gordon Moody’s voice is heard loud and clear in all these important conversations, the main thing I am most proud of at the end of this week is the incredible things our staff do to ensure our service users and their families get the best help they can at this critical time.
We are here for you and we can help
Our service users are at the heart of everything we do.
We see first hand how the ongoing pressures brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic have undoubtedly made life more difficult to cope with. And this has been reflected in the many applications and enquiries we receive from people who are desperately in need of help or are seeking support for a loved one.
If you are in need of support with issues related to your gambling, or the gambling of a loved one, we are here to help.
We realise reaching out for help can be challenging, particularly at this time, and full of unknowns or worries about it being difficult to get the right sort of help.
So in recent weeks we have taken measures to make this process as easy and quick as possible.
We have increased the ways in which you can contact us through different channels and having more advisers on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Complex applications involving people in genuine crisis have been completed this week in a matter of hours, where previously it had taken days.
So, how does it work?
To apply for a place on one of our treatment programmes you must complete our online application form.
You can contact us by phone, email or text chat through our “talk to us” slot on the website.
Or you can access our Gambling Therapy service or contact the national gambling helpline, for emotional support, which is available 24 hours daily. Whichever way you want to get in touch with us, we are here for you and we can help.
Once an application is received our referral team will get to work to ensure you get a treatment plan as soon as possible.
Once you have submitted your application, a member of our team will contact you to complete a further assessment over the phone.
And more widely, we have been also been able to provide support quickly through our pre-support team for our treatment services, our family and friends support groups and referrals to partner organisations.
We have worked with other treatment providers to create referral pathways for those struggling with issues such as isolation, poor mental health, substance abuse and suicidal ideation on top of their gambling issues.
Any application will be then assessed by our referral panel where a treatment plan with us or one of our partners will be agreed.
If you think you need help applying for a place at GMA please don’t think twice about it. Get in touch, we can’t say this often enough and loud enough.
We are here for you and we can help.
To apply for a place visit
Call 01384 241292 (lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org (available 24hrs)
“Talk to us” through Text Chat www.gordonmoody.org.uk (available 8am-2am Mon-Fri, 8am-10pm Sat-Sun)
For emotional support
Download the GT App https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/en/gambling-therapy-presents-gt-app
Or call the National Gambling Helpline 0808 8020 133 (available 24hrs)