It’s a problem that can bleed into every part of your life.
But if you recognise that your gambling is starting to have a negative impact on your finances, relationships and mental health, help is at hand thanks to a new counselling service here in Cork.
The ‘National Problem Gambling Support Service’ was officially launched this week by Gambling Awareness Trust.
The pay-what-you-can initiative, available at Carrigtwohill Family Resource Centre (FRC), offers professional and confidential counselling services to those experiencing harmful gambling and their families.
“International research reports that for every single person identified with a ‘gambling disorder’, up to six other people are impacted significantly,” said Pam Bergin, Executive Director of Gambling Awareness Trust.
“Given the estimated prevalence of 55,000 problem gamblers in Ireland, this presents a significant number of individuals affected in Irish society and highlights the need for increased services and supports in this area.
“Through the FRCs, Gambling Awareness Trust wants to end the stigma attached to problem gambling by sending a strong message to those affected that professional and confidential support is available.”
Counselling staff with experience in dealing with gambling addiction have been appointed and it is expected that the service will run for an initial three-year period, with a project evaluation to follow at the end of the final year. The service will be offered at affordable rates based on each person’s ability to pay.
The Gambling Awareness Trust is encouraging people who would like to access the service to visit gamblingcare.ie for more information.