GamCare’s National Gambling Helpline Will Open 24-Hours A Day
GamCare has announced that its National Gambling Helpline will extend its opening hours to operate 24-hours a day.
The UK gambling support charity, which is funded by GambleAware, announced the news this week, revealing that the extended opening hours will come into effect from today (October 1st). The helpline currently consists of a live chat and Freephone channel where staff provide callers with advice on gambling problems and connecting them with local treatment services.
According to GamCare, the helpline received over 30,000 calls between 2018 and 2019 and the giant figure is expected to increase over the coming years. In response to this, GamCare decided to extend its opening hours with a pilot scheme. If proven successful, the trail will be extended.
GambleAware Chief Executive Marc Etches said in a statement: “GambleAware is responsible for commissioning the National Gambling Helpline, which is a core element of an emerging National Gambling Treatment Service. Our priority is to keep people safe and to ensure support services are easily accessible. As such, we are pleased to be funding an extension to the helpline’s operating hours, and we will evaluate its performance over time.”
Anna Hemmings, the Chief Executive at GamCare, added: “With the 24-hour nature of gambling, people sometimes feel at their most isolated overnight, when other support services are closed. They will now be able to reach our highly trained advisers 24-hours a day, who can offer immediate support, advice and referral to our network of treatment services nationally.”
Helping Problem Gamblers
The news comes just weeks after the NHS and GambleAware partnered to open a new gambling clinic in Leeds. The Northern Gambling Service clinic in Leeds opened last month on September 18th, making it the first clinic to offer gambling support outside of London.
Reports have revealed that the clinic is being funded by GambleAware and is part of the NHS Northern Gambling Service funded by the NHS. The clinic currently provides care for people with addictions and support for people who struggle with mental health conditions or those who are at risk of suicide.
What’s more, the NHS opened its first-ever gambling clinic for children in at the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London. Both clinics are part of the NHS’ expansion for gambling treatment services including a planned 14 additional clinics which are set to open within the coming months.
The new clinics are part of a move by the NHS, the UK government and the UK Gambling Commission to provide more help and support to problem gamblers and those at risk.