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Read our latest blog posts here to find out what's happening within the Gordon Moody Association, and for interesting and informational articles related to support and help for gamblers, their friends and family.

GMA Weekly Blog 19th June 2020

Published: 19 June 2020 by Dunc

For some of us at GMA this week there has been a return to some kind of normality, after 3 months we have been able to bring in new residents into our newly refurbished treatment centre in Beckenham. This service is much needed as we also hosted our 500th unique participant in our virtual groups which have been running throughout the lockdown period. These groups have been immensely popular and a great support to our ex-residents and those getting in touch with our service for support. They have also helped us to understand the issues that have arisen during lockdown for those affected by gambling. Speaking to the BGC recently CEO Matthew Hickey stated that cases of a severe nature have increased massively amongst problem gamblers during lockdown with many presenting with mental health issues, other addictions, trauma, isolation and in many cases suicide ideation. Matthew identified the “perfect storm” lockdown has created with many problem gamblers anxious about the return of live sport and re-opening of land-based betting establishments as a potential challenge for GMA and other treatment providers in the coming months. We are in conversations with a number of organisations to strengthen our support offer to meet the needs of an increase in demand. 

Beckenham re-opens 

This week has seen the re-opening of the Beckenham service after lockdown. We have been very proactive during the shutdown of the service too, completing a full refurbishment of the rehab facility. With newly decorated room and fresh new communal areas, the site has started welcoming in residents as we carefully work towards opening fully, whilst also keeping residents and staff safety at the forefront of what we are doing. For those who would like to take a look at what our newly improved premises looks like, here is a video link  

In the same vein, we have just started working on refurbishments at the Dudley Recovery House, to best utilise the opportunities Covid-19 has presented to us. We are working towards creating the best environment we can for our service users, making our centres homely and as conducive as possible to continued recovery. 

#Dontgetdrawnbackin 

For those of you that follow us on social media you will have seen our message urging people to seek help if they are worried about there gambling and to not get drawn back in to bad habits now that sports such as premier league football and horse racing events such as Royal Ascot have returned. For many the return of sport will be a welcome one providing entertainment and a distraction from the current situation, many of us at GMA too are looking forward to cheering on our teams again now that the football season will be concluded. 

For some however this will not be the case and the return of sport coupled with the re-opening of betting establishments will be a challenging and potentially dangerous time so please reach out for support if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one. 

News reports on the state of the economy as a result of the Covid-19 measures also leave us in no doubt that there are tough times ahead for many financially too. It is important to remember that gambling should be for entertainment only and never a way to get out of financial difficulty, again if you are concerned please reach out for help Gamcare who run the national gambling helpline have also teamed up with other helpline providers under the hashtag #readytotalk to raise awareness of the support available. You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.  

 ¡Saludos desde Latinoamérica! 

Or “Greetings from Latin America!” This week our Gambling Therapy team along with members of our senior management attended SBC’s Latin America Digital Summit. This was our first appearance at a “Virtual Conference” and what a great opportunity it was! To be able to promote our services to an audience half way around the world, at an event that we would not have been able to attend in person was a game changer for us, especially as we receive so many calls to our international helpline from this part of the world. The team did a fantastic job creating a visually stunning virtual stand with lots of information available to help raise awareness and widen the conversation about safer gambling and gambling harm. We attracted a lot of interest and met with many organisations with whom we hope to build strong and meaningful collaborations. We will also be attending SBC’s North America Digital Summit next month and we look forward to updating you on events stateside soon. 

Welcome 

Finally, this week we have recently welcomed a few new members of staff to our team here at Gordon Moody. Here’s a short introduction from each of them: 

John Gani 

Hi, my name is Johnny. I started with GMA on the 8th June. I have come over from a clinical setting within a substance misuse rehabilitation centre where I specialized in direct therapy for clients. My background was originally construction where I was also able to use my skills to help homeless people struggling with addiction. I did this by setting up and managing a project from scratch which is still successfully running today. It started with a small fund from the Treasury, but today it has no problems as a charity getting funded for its continued work. 

I am looking forward to being part of GMA and what it will achieve in the coming weeks, months, and years moving forward.  

Sian Fallon 

Hi, my name is Sian and I am 2 months into my position as a residential support worker within the Gordon Moody Association. I have previous experience of adult care work, supporting individuals with disabilities and mental health issues and working in a homeless hostel. I was eager to join Gordon Moody after seeing what they do and wanted to be a part of an amazing charity offering something that is unfortunately not as common as it should be, help for problem gamblers.  

Michelle Everitt 

Hi my name's Michelle. I started in April in the HR team. I have over 30 years’ experience of people management, 25 of those in HR. I have worked in various industries which have provided me with a breadth of experience and ideas for managing and engaging people. I have a genuine passion for addiction recovery and am grateful for the opportunity to merge this with my professional skills. 

To apply for a treatment place at GMA visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or call 01384 241 292 

For international, multilingual support for anyone affected by problem gambling visit www.gamblingtherapy.org or download the Gambling Therapy App. 

Thanks for reading, stay safe! 

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GMA Weekly Blog 15th May 2020

Published: 15 May 2020 by Dunc

It’s been emotional! I don’t think for a minute that the public thought that lockdown would be coming to an end following the government’s announcement at the start of the week but I think having the prime minister confirm it has certainly affected the mood. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with some businesses re-opening, rules on exercise being relaxed and more importantly we are able to meet family (albeit one at a time, outdoors and 2 meters apart) but the reality that we still have weeks of home schooling, fridge raiding and pyjama dwelling to go, as we have discussed at GMA this week is daunting but hang in there! We will get through this. As with the rest of the country we are all grateful at GMA and send our best wishes to the frontline workers in all roles, working in such testing conditions to keep us all safe, Thank you! 

National Mental Health Awareness Week 

Monday is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and GMA will be supporting the theme of Kindness with information, activities and collaborations throughout the week so watch out for our updates on social media. We realise at GMA how tough this situation has been on our mental health, we have introduced mindfulness for our colleagues and given them all 3 hours a week to spend on themselves but more importantly we have been talking about our mental health and encouraging each other to be kind to themselves. We often forget to look out for our own welfare especially at a time when so many are in need. Think about the safety demonstration you get on a plane before take-off, make sure you put on your lifejacket before helping someone else with theirs…. It’s good advice! Below are some thoughts on being kind to yourself from Paul a member of the therapy team at GMA 

Looking After One “Self” 

Written by Paul Dent MSc PG Dip MBACP Clinical Manager at Gambling Therapy 

The “self” is a very important construct in therapy. Linking with the theme from Mental Health Awareness Week, it is important in these Covid times that we are kind to our “selves”. When dealing with the daily pressures of clients, the demands of the other staff and possible family it is very easy to put your own needs on hold. Booking meetings back to back or pushing boundaries may seem very efficient use of time but not building in breaks does give you an opportunity to recharge, refocus and think about the overall picture.  

No matter how much we hear the mantra of “we will get through this”, life is still for living – we will not get this time back. Covid is just another experience or “challenge” in life’s journey, depending on your mindset. Therefore, it is imperative to find time each day to be “kind” to yourself. Build in activities that you enjoy, that take you away from the activities and stresses of the day and that allow you to focus on why you are here. This can be physical (just taking a 30-minute walk has huge benefits) mental (listening to your favourite book or podcast) or even better do both at the same time (multitasking 

Only when you have been “kind” to your inner self will you be able to project confidently your values, beliefs, and true emotions to others as well as cope with the challenge that life can throw at you. 

As well as a Clinical Manger for Gambling Therapy, Paul is an experienced counsellor with many years of experience of working in private and non-profit settings. The tools he uses are primarily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) 


and psychodynamic counselling, delivered both face-to-face and online that focus on delivering positive solutions that enable the client to move forward.  His focus is how trauma can cause addictions in later life.  

Covid-19 

Our residential treatment programme continues to run, and we plan to be admitting new residents as soon as it is safe to do so, the safety of our colleagues and clients is at the heart of all our decision making. Refurbishments to our Beckenham facility are nearing completion and we look forward to sharing the transformation and welcoming new residents soon. Virtual support is being offered to our male and female clients, those waiting to enter treatment, affected others and our ex-residents. We have increased our outgoing interactions with our service users 10-fold in the last few weeks with over 200 calls being made each week a fantastic effort from the team. 

To apply for a treatment place at GMA visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or call 01384 241 292 

For international, multilingual support for anyone affected by problem gambling visit www.gamblingtherapy.org or download the Gambling Therapy App. 

Thanks for reading, stay safe! 

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GMA Weekly Blog 7th May 2020

Published: 7 May 2020 by Dunc

Heres me thinking we were slowing down! Another week has passed us by in no time at all and as we enter into the long May bank holiday weekend has anyone stopped to think about our journey over the last 6-8 weeks? I have recently taken some time off work and it was only on my return that I realised how much is changing at GMA as well as in our sector and in our lives. 

The current situation has meant we have had to change and adapt many of our services at GMA but it has also helped us to think about how we intend to provide the best possible support for those most affected by problematic gambling going forward. We completed over 250 interactions with our residential service users last week through phone and video chat as well as hundreds more worldwide through our international Gambling Therapy service which continues to be busy.  

Covid-19 

Many countries around the world are starting to relax their lockdown measures and hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel in the UK too with the Prime Minister set to outline plans on Sunday. Whilst social distancing measures are sure to stay in place for some time to come, the commencing of a return to normal will come as welcome news to many not least those waiting to enter treatment for gambling addiction at Gordon Moody. Much planning and preparation has been done ready to welcome new residents to our treatment centres with much needed refurbishments nearing completion in Beckenham and planned for Dudley, a huge thank you to everyone both at GMA and externally who have made this possible. The success of our virtual support for residents pre and post treatment, affected others and overseas clients will not be lost as we return to normal and will continue to form a vital part of our programmeAs with many organisations during this period the welfare of our colleagues has been of paramount importance to us and we will continue to offer support, training, mindfulness, and protected timeFor anyone providing help and support to others it is so important they look after themselves too. 

Opinions, facts, and the perception of what’s true 

It is difficult to know what is really going on at the moment isn’t it! In the news the figures published relating to coronavirus are interpreted differently depending on the agenda of the author. We often choose to get our information from sources that are in alignment with our own beliefs, whether it be the newspaper you read or the people you follow onlineVery often the statistics/data/numbers that are presented are the same, it is the interpretation of those numbers that leads us to believe whether the news is good or bad, a success or a failure (Coronavirus testing anyone?)This has been highlighted with the ongoing discussion around gambling advertising. Today marks the start of a voluntary ban on all gambling advertising by members of the Betting and Gaming Council, whilst some see this as a positive step there are also those that do not think this goes far enough and online advertising as well as direct emails and texts from operators should also be addressed. It is completely reasonable to suggest that in these times with people watching more tv and using more screen time that the perception is that there is more gambling advertising at this time but is that really the case? These two articles offer different opinions on the subject.  

What do you think? What is your perception of the industry? Feel free to join the conversation by following us on social media, addresses at the bottom of this blog. 

Something that we can be sure of during this period is that less people are reaching out for help with their gambling but people are without a doubt more vulnerable, of the previously mentioned 255 interactions carried out by GMA last week 80% were us reaching out. If you are concerned about your gambling help is available you can contact us online www.gordonmoody.org.uk or call us 01384 241 292 our Gambling Therapy service is also available providing online, international support for anyone affected by problem gambling www.gamblingtherapy.org alternatively you can find support at www.begambleaware.org and www.gamcare.org.uk who also run the 24hr national gambling helpline 0808 8020 133. 

Thanks for reading 

Look after yourselves everyone, take care of each other and stay safe. 

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