Are you a problem gambler? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with gambling addiction.
Problem gambling can cause severe financial, emotional, and physical distress and can have serious consequences for your health and wellbeing — so seeking immediate support is vital.
The good news is that help is available. There are several organisations that specialise providing services and giving advice to individuals and families affected by gambling addiction. Many of which run support groups where gamblers can connect with others who are dealing with the same issues to share experiences, find emotional support, and learn from those who have recovered from struggles.
Here’s where to find problem gambling support in the UK and USA.
Find Problem Gambling Help In The UK
If you are in the UK and are concerned about your gambling, or that of someone you know, help is available. The following organisations can provide advice and support:
GamCare is a UK-based charity providing free information, advice, and support for anyone affected by problem gambling.
The charity provides a range of services, including a helpline, online support, face-to-face counselling, and group therapies. The charity will direct you to other specialist services and local support groups to suit your needs. GamCare also provides education and training to frontline professionals, helping them to identify and support those with gambling problems.
GamCare runs the National Gambling Helpline is open 24/7. This is a free and confidential service for people affected by problem gambling in the UK. The helpline offers advice, information and support to help individuals and their families manage their gambling problem.
0808 8020 133 | gamcare.org.uk
Gamblers Anonymous UK (GAUK) is a self-help organisation offering mutual support to problem gamblers.
GAUK is fellowship of men and women who have come together to share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to do the same. GAUK offers a twelve-step program for recovery from problem gambling. The twelve-step program encourages members to take personal responsibility for their behaviour, and to recognise the need for help from a higher power. GAUK also offers support groups, workshops, and a telephone helpline.
GAUK does not offer professional counselling, although it does provide referrals to professional counsellors.
020 7384 3040 | gamblersanonymous.org.uk
Gordon Moody Association
A charity providing residential support for people with severe gambling problems.
The Gordon Moody Association is a charity based in the UK that provides support and treatment to people with gambling problems. It was founded in 1966 and has grown to become one of the largest specialist providers of gambling treatment in Europe. The Association offers a range of services, including residential and outpatient treatment, counselling, advice and guidance, and support for family and friends affected by problem gambling. It also provides education, training, and research into gambling–related issues.
0121 616 6000 | gordonmoody.org.uk
BeGambleAware is an independent charity providing free and confidential advice and support to anyone affected by gambling.
The charity that was founded in the UK in 2004 to provide information, support, and advice to individuals, families, and communities affected by problem gambling. It works in partnership with the gambling industry, charities, and the government to raise awareness of the risks associated with gambling and to promote responsible gambling. BeGambleAware provides free, confidential advice and support, including face-to-face counseling, online counseling, and a 24/7 helpline. It also runs several campaigns to inform people about the risks of gambling and to encourage people to gamble responsibly.
0808 8020 133 | begambleaware.org
National Problem Gambling Clinic
The National Problem Gambling Clinic is a specialist NHS clinic for people with severe gambling problems.
The clinic provides assessment, treatment and support to people who are experiencing a range of difficulties related to their gambling, such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues, financial problems and even thoughts of suicide. The clinic is based in London and provides services to people from across the UK. The team of specialist clinician are experts in the field and are equipped to provide a range of treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing and family interventions. They also work closely with other relevant services, such as Gambling Therapy and Gamcare, to ensure that people receive the best possible support and treatment for their gambling problem.
020 7381 7722 | cnwl.nhs.uk/services/mental-health-services/
Find Problem Gambling Help In The USA
If you are in the US and are concerned about your gambling, or that of someone you know, help is available. The following organisations can provide advice and support:
Gamblers Anonymous USA (GA) is an international organization of self-help groups dedicated to helping people with gambling problems. The program provides support, advice, and resources to help people break their addiction and overcome the challenges associated with problem gambling.
GA is based on a 12-Step program, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. GA meetings provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for members to share their experiences, struggles, and successes. The organization is open to all who have a desire to stop gambling, including family members of those affected by problem gambling. GA works to reduce the stigma associated with problem gambling and to promote awareness of the disorder.
1-888-424-3577 | gamblersanonymous.org
The National Council on Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the impact of problem gambling on individuals, families, and communities.
Founded in 1972, NCPG is the national advocate for problem gamblers and their loved ones, and works with state and tribal governments, educators, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders to advance responsible gaming policies and practices. NCPG also provides public awareness and prevention programs, as well as direct assistance to those affected by problem gambling. NCPG provides a wide range of resources, including a 24-hour helpline, online support, and referrals to local treatment programs.
1–800–522–4700 | ncpgambling.org
GamTalk.org is an online space for gamblers to come together and support each other in times of need.
Launched in 2018, GamTalk is a free, nonprofit service that provides a safe and anonymous place for gamblers to connect and share their stories. GamTalk provides resources and information to help problem gamblers better understand mental health issues they may be facing, as well as connecting them with others who may be dealing with similar experiences.
The website also includes a blog with articles to help gamblers better understand the mental health aspect of gambling.
1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) | gamtalk.org
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is responsible for improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illness.
SAMHSA works to reduce the prevalence of problem gambling and its associated harms by promoting the prevention, early intervention, and recovery of problem gambling in adults, adolescents, and children. Through grants and other initiatives, SAMHSA works with community-based organizations, state and local governments, and healthcare providers to provide information and support to those affected by problem gambling. SAMHSA also provides resources to help individuals and families affected by problem gambling, and to help organizations develop effective prevention and treatment programs.
- 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) | samhsa.gov
Other Ways To Seek Help
If the above organisations are not what you’re looking for, there are other options:
- Mental Health Professionals: It’s important to seek professional help if you are struggling with problem gambling. A therapist can help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction and develop a plan to help you overcome it.
- Financial Counseling: Problem gambling can have serious financial consequences. A financial counselor can help you assess your current financial situation and develop a plan to help you get back on track. They can also provide tips for budgeting and debt management.
No matter what type of help you need, there are resources available. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
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