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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.

Gordon Moody Weekly Blog 5th March 2021

Published: 5 March 2021 by Dunc

Gordon Moody’s Weekly round up

 

International Women’s Day – 8 March 2021

 

Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma.

 

Gordon Moody will join many organisations around the world in marking International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March. On the day itself we will be taking part in an event for Women’s Voices 2021 as part of our aim of raising awareness of the issue of gambling harm and its effect on women.

 

The theme of women achieving an equal future free from stigma resonates strongly with us and our plans this year to increase our provision of support for women affected by gambling harm.

 

Our current provision of support for women exists through our retreat and counselling programme. Attendees experience a three-night stay in a retreat setting where they can disengage from their day-to-day life and take part in a series of therapeutic group workshops surrounded by and supported by women facing similar problems.

Eight weeks of weekly one-to-one group sessions follow, before another two-night retreat stay where participants can meet and share their learnings before completing the programme with some further one-to-one sessions. The programme is 12 weeks duration in total.

 

Due to restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic we have been unable to offer the retreat part of the programme in recent times. However, our team have adapted to run an online service that has been a great success allowing us to reach those most needing help during a difficult time.

 

We hope to be running our Retreat and Counselling service in physical locations again soon. And our learnings from our online delivery will not be lost and we aim to provide more flexible and agile versions of the programme reaching more women who need support or who may be isolated and unable to access other forms of treatment.

 

If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s gambling don’t suffer in silence. We are here to help and together we can tackle gambling addiction.

 

To apply for treatment at Gordon Moody visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or for more information call us on 01384 241292.

The National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 call free on 0808 802 0133.

 

Raising Awareness of Women’s Gambling Issues

 

There is not enough support out there for women affected by gambling harm, fact.

 

Recent reports have shown that out of 9,000 women seeking help and advice 59% are affected others and 41% are seeking help for their own gambling issues. Only 2,000 women accessed treatment for disordered gambling last year, this figure is thought to be only 3% of the actual number that need treatment.

 

Some of that is due to the amount of treatment currently out there not being anywhere near enough.

 

Another factor is that gambling is still seen as a male-dominated pursuit and there remains a huge stigma around women seeking help.

 

We have been busy raising awareness in the media with our appearance on Steph’s packed lunch which we mentioned in last week’s blog as well as earlier pieces on BBC News, ITV news and Times radio.

 

This week our women’s outreach therapist Kerri shared her story along with other women in a feature in the Daily Mail’s Femail magazine. You can read the article here.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9322195/As-number-female-problem-gamblers-Britain-tops-75-000-four-victims-share-stories.html

 

Along with the potential for additional retreat programmes, we are opening a specialist residential treatment service for women this year.

Our programme design will be solely based on the needs of the women we are looking to treat and providing a higher level of intervention not currently available but very much needed.

We provide treatment for those most severely affected by gambling harm and our mission is to ensure that women severely affected by gambling have equal access to this level of treatment.

 

Have you heard about Gambling Therapy?

 

Sticking with the international theme, did you know that Gordon Moody also supports people suffering from gambling harm internationally.

 

In 2004 the Gambling Therapy service was set up to provide support, advice and signposting to anyone around the world through online information, groups, forums, and a text-based helpline.

 

Available in many different languages, and with advisors based around the world, Gambling Therapy provides help and support that is tailored to your needs - regardless of nationality or culture.

 

Today the Gambling Therapy service has grown to reach a global audience of more than five million users.  An updated and improved version of the Gambling Therapy website has recently gone live and now provides information in more than 240 different languages.

 

Over 2,000 interactions take place each month through our helpline and support. The service can also be accessed through our free to download GT App.

 

You can find out more by visiting www.gamblingtherapy.org

 

To keep up to date with the latest news at Gordon Moody you can follow us through our social media channels below.

 

Until next week stay safe, look after yourselves and each other.

 

Follow Gordon Moody on Social Media

https://www.linkedin.com/company/gordonmoody/?viewAsMember=true

https://www.facebook.com/Gordon-Moody-Association-1256925677695078/

https://twitter.com/GordonMoody

https://twitter.com/GamblingTherap

 

GM Weekly Blog 26th Feb 2021

Published: 26 February 2021 by Dunc

Gordon Moody’s Weekly round up

Looking after your mental health

Looking after the wellbeing of our service users, our colleagues and ourselves has been paramount in helping us to continue to deliver a service throughout the pandemic. Like many organisations we have provided some light relief from the pressures of day-to-day life with online parties, coffee mornings and fun challenges. We have provided additional time off for wellbeing and for colleagues and service users past and present we have run a number of mindfulness sessions.

Mindfulness is a useful practice to help look after your mental health and this week’s blog is written by our Retreat and Counselling therapist Kira Bradbeer who is a qualified mindfulness coach.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a natural human capacity we are all born with, but one that we often lose connection with when the thinking mind develops and takes over our experience. Mindfulness means being aware of our moment-to-moment experience and not only includes our thoughts, but also our bodily sensations and emotions, as well as the world around us. 

Fortunately, we can re-learn how to tune into our experience through mindfulness practices, where we train our mind to pay attention to the present moment. 

We begin to see how we usually rush through life without noticing much at all and often react to our experience in unhelpful ways.  Instead, when mindfulness is practised over time, we begin to notice exactly what we are thinking and feeling in each moment and this supports us to make helpful choices about how we can respond to situations wisely.

How is mindfulness used to support clients?

Because building self-awareness is such an important foundation of recovery, we introduce clients to brief mindfulness practices that support them to tune into their experience. 

A really helpful practice we use is called the Mindful Breathing Space that encourages clients to pause and stop in any given moment of the day to purposively notice what they are thinking, how they are feeling and what is occurring in their body. 

This also gives clients time to find refuge for a few moments in their breathing and this supports them to respond to situations they find themselves in.

Why is mindfulness helpful to disordered gamblers?

The act of gambling is always triggered by an internal or external experience, such as an unpleasant emotion or having seen a gambling advert. 

However, when people first enter recovery this process happens very rapidly and automatically.  Mindfulness, therefore, supports client to slow down and notice both the triggers and their immediate internal reactions to them. 

With this noticing, clients then have a choice about how to respond to the triggers, rather than simply reacting to them by gambling.

What do clients have to say about mindfulness?

A common first reaction to mindfulness amongst clients is scepticism and bemusement.  On the Retreat and Counselling Programme we introduce mindfulness through the mindful eating of a raison, which people often say is a strange experience and gets a few giggles. 

However, as this becomes more familiar, many come to realise that mindfulness is just about tuning into ourselves, and many tell us it supports them during times of stress and heightened emotion especially. 

For me, it is also great to hear how a practice has calmed someone and supported them to let go of some worry, so they can get the most out of their group session or go about their day feeling more settled.

How can I bring mindfulness into my day?

Mindfulness is useful for many people, not just if you have a problem with gambling, but is also helpful with tuning into stress triggers and responding to them wisely. 

A great place to start is a simple five-minute daily practice of noticing the breath at the tip of the nose.  You will no doubt find your mind takes a wander away from this place frequently, but each time you notice where the mind has gone and bring your focus of attention back to the tip of the nose, you are strengthening your muscle of attention that bit more. 

Now that’s what I would call great mindfulness!

Why not try mindfulness for yourself?

 

 5 Minute Mindfulness of Breath at the Nose Practice (1).wav

 

Gordon Moody in the news

It is really encouraging to see lots of interest on how to tackle women and gambling harm currently. It is important that awareness of the issue is raised and that there are more opportunities for women who are affected by gambling harm to seek help.

Gordon Moody is committed to providing more treatment for women in 2021, including the opening of a specialist women’s residential treatment centre later in the year.

Retreat and Counselling Programme manager Jane Fahy and outreach therapist Kerri Nicholls appeared on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 last week to talk about women and gambling. Both were tremendous advocates for more to be done for women and were great ambassadors for Gordon Moody and you can watch their interview here.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1362750445601632257

 

https://fb.watch/3UqgKyzl09/

 

There should be no stigma in reaching out for help. If you are affected in any way by gambling harm channel 4 have provided information on support services available

https://www.channel4.com/4viewers/help/gambling

Please don’t suffer in silence, we are open, we are here to help, and we are still accepting applications for treatment, whatever the twists and turns of the COVID-19 regulations.

To apply for treatment at Gordon Moody visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or for more information call us on 01384 241292.

The National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 call free on 0808 802 0133.

 

Follow GMA on Social Media

https://www.linkedin.com/company/gordonmoody/?viewAsMember=true

https://www.facebook.com/Gordon-Moody-Association-1256925677695078/

https://twitter.com/GordonMoody

https://twitter.com/GamblingTherap

 

GMA Weekly Blog 19th February 2021

Published: 19 February 2021 by Dunc

Gordon Moody’s Weekly round up 

 

This week’s blog is written by Gordon Moody Head of Growth, Rob Mabbett 

 

Don’t sweat the small stuff?... You should. 

Is there such a thing as an effective responsible gambling interaction? Can they actually work? Well, yes, sure they can, but it takes effort. You have to work at it, and you have to care. 

This week we have been talking to gambling operators about interactions. Some of our ex-residents as well as service managers with lived experience of gambling harm kindly shared their experiences and spoke about times during their journey when the opportunity to interact with them had either been missed or not handled well.  

The response we had was terrific, with lots of healthy conversation and questions being asked by those working in customer facing roles who genuinely wanted to do a good job and to do the right thing for their customers. 

The fact is no matter how hard you work or how much training you do, you will never find a solution where an interaction with a customer works so well that they instantly stop gambling and (if they need to) seek help. 

So why do it? This made me think of my experience many years ago when I was a student studying away from home for the first time. 

Myself and friends would often visit the same pub. We had a favourite spot by a fruit machine and would regularly spend most of the evening chatting and sticking what we thought was the odd harmless quid in the machine. 

Being skint was an occupational hazard of being a student at the time. It was 1999, the student grant system had gone and had been replaced by student loans, the banks were keen to get your custom and offers of interest free overdrafts and credit cards were plentiful. 

 

Feast and famine 

I had never had access to so much money in my life, but I had never had rent to pay, bills, food and other essentials to budget for either. 

My existence of feast and famine seemed par for the course. Like many of my friends we would live well for the first couple of weeks of term then we would have to tighten our belts.  

The occasional payment would be missed, to be honest the occasional meal would be missed too. Some of my friends put in an emergency call to the bank of Mum and Dad and await the rescue package or cheque. For me that was not an option (that’s a whole other story), but it didn’t bother me because I knew at the end of term I could go home and pick up a job or two over the holidays, repair the damage done in the previous term and when I went back to college lo and behold another student loan payment had found its way into my account.  

I vowed at the start of each term to be more careful but the fear of missing out was too strong and so it was back to the pub. 

In January 2001, I was in my second year and had just returned after the Christmas break. As per usual, at the start of term I was in the pub. I was often the first of my friends to arrive so I grabbed a drink and went over to our favoured spot and passed the time by putting change in the fruit machine.  

It was then that the manager of the pub came over to me and asked if she could have a word. She asked me if we knew how much money we were putting in the fruit machine? 

Naturally defensive, I shrugged and dismissed it as a few quid here and there to which she replied it was £200 

“When you guys are on holiday”, she continued “my takings on these machines go down £200 a week”. I remember being shocked. I felt embarrassed and ashamed.  

I wondered why had she just spoke to me? Why not wait until we were all together? She offered me a drink and said come and have a chat at the bar, tell me about your school. I remember this clearly for two reasons Firstly, getting a free pint at the pub was not a common occurrence as a student, and secondly she always referred to our college and university courses as school - we hated it. 

 

Planting seeds 

It was an excellent responsible gambling interaction. I didn’t realise it straight away. I didn’t stop gambling there and then, and I certainly didn’t really reflect on the fact on whether I had a problem with gambling then. But it certainly planted a seed. 

It took time but that seed started to grow. My years as a student came to an end and I returned home.  

From time to time I would still play pub fruit machines, probably sometimes experiencing a level of gambling harm, but I often thought about the talk I had with the pub manager back at college and would be able to check my behaviour. I promised myself not to go back to the old habits of my student days. 

Eventually I settled down, met my wife and had children. I can honestly say I cannot remember the last time I put money in a pub fruit machine. For a while I didn’t think about gambling or my experience at college at all, until I started working in a bookmakers. 

During my time in the betting industry I witnessed a lot of behaviour and activity that could be described as signs of gambling harm. By now I had built up some strong experience in delivering good customer service through working in retail and combined with my own personal college experience, I felt better placed to make good interactions whenever I spotted signs of harm. But truthfully, it just wasn’t that easy. Yes, we had training and tools to help support customers, but having that initial conversation and acting on what you had seen was never easy and didn’t always go to plan.  

I can recall plenty of interactions that went wrong or led to conflict . But I can also recall occasions when interactions went well  - from having a good chat with a customer over a cuppa to shaking the hand of a customer who had just completed an exclusion and wishing them well.  

Whatever the weather we kept planting seeds. I have no idea how many of these were effective but we kept trying, and I would like to think myself and colleagues got better at them with practice. 

 

Do the small things well and it becomes a big thing. 

Going back to our industry talks, at Gordon Moody we are always keen to encourage the importance of small interactions because they can have a great impact for the future. Especially if these interactions are made at a human level and are sincere. You have got to care. 

The UK Gambling Commission and the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) released guidelines earlier in lockdown calling for increased responsible gambling interactions - especially online in the absence of land-based betting due to lockdown closures. 

It’s encouraging to read that safer gambling messages and interactions increased during the pandemic, with messages up by 150% and interactions up by 25% according to a BGC report. 

Guidance on interactions can be found on the UKGC website and the BGC’s 10 safer gambling pledges.  

If you are an operator, and would like to discuss interactions further with Gordon Moody, we would be happy to work with your frontline colleagues. Please get in touch at [email protected]nmoody.org.uk  

I will always be very grateful for the interaction I received. It wasn’t until I joined the team at Gordon Moody that I reflected on my behaviour and realised I could relate to so many of the journeys our residents had been on.  

I was very fortunate. My getting to the pub early and gambling on my own, spending too much time gambling and gambling more than I could afford were all classic signs of gambling harm that could have developed if not for an intervention and my life heading in a different direction. 

My advice is simple. Keep planting those seeds, keep talking, look after yourself and those around you. Let’s tackle gambling addiction together. 

 

And Finally… 

Please remember we are open, we are here to help, and we are still accepting applications for residential and other treatment, whatever the twists and turns of the Covid-19 regulations. 

To apply for treatment at Gordon Moody visit www.gordonmoody.org.uk or for more information call us on 01384 241292. 

The National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 call free on 0808 802 0133. 

 

 

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