Gambling Addiction Helplines and Charities in the UK
There may come a time when you think you might be spending a little too much time in casinos, or your gambling is getting in the way of other aspects of your life, and the most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone! You can get help, advice, other people’s perspectives and a general listening ear, from several charities and helplines, which make a job of being available and understanding. There’s absolutely no shame in getting in touch with some of these organisations, even if it may just be to see what you can do to avoid potential trouble in the future. If you’re based in Ireland then you may wish to read this guide on responsible gambling in Ireland as they have their own charities and support networks.
GamCare is a leader in the gambling support field, and they understand everything about what happens when you go through a tough time around your gambling habit. You can talk to people, web chat, or carry out self-diagnosis tests if you’re not ready to talk to someone about it yet. As a registered charity, their main reason to exist is to provide a helping platform to people around the UK who need help and support, and they train a network of national counsellors who provide personalised, non-judgmental support. Their most well known service is the National Gambling helpline, which is available by phone or by SMS as a free service.
0808 8020 133
This UK charity serves as a signposting service, directing visitors to the most relevant service or organisation, and funding research and programs to promote responsible gambling. They recognise that there’s no reason that gambling should become a problem, and it should remain an innocent and fun activity that everyone can enjoy whilst making informed decisions about how they use their money and spend their time.
The last thing many people want to do when trying to steer clear of a potential gambling problem is get advice from somebody who’s never been affected by the same issues. This is where Gamblers Anonymous comes in, uniting like-minded gamblers who discuss their own issues. Meetings are open to everyone, no membership or registration is required, as the groups function on the values of openness and acceptance. With no strings attached or obligations, this is an easy way to come face-to-face with people who may be going through exactly the same things as you.
It is often the case that where there is a person with a gambling problem, there is a family or a loved one who is also affected by what’s going on. They might also want support, or guidance on how to best help their loved one or relative. GamAnon meetings are held at the same time as Gamblers Anonymous meetings but in a separate room, so that members of each group can be open and freely discuss their issues they want to bring up.
If you really think that face-to-face help is the best way for you to overcome what you’re going through, then this British charity runs residential programmes in the West Midlands and also in the Kent area, which run for 12 weeks and work with each resident to adopt new habits and drop the old ones which may be having a harmful effect on aspects of their lives.
Read more: Why we like gambling so much