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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 27th November 2020

Published: 27 November 2020 by Dunc

Gordon Moody’s Weekly round up 

Winning the hard yards (Reasons to be cheerful part 1). 

We’ve taken a few significant steps forward in our service provision this past week.  Some might argue they are strides forward more than steps, given all the pressures and uncertainties  around  lockdowns  and  the  pandemic. 

Firstly, our Gambling Therapy (GT) website has relaunched with a much-advanced functionality.  What this means in real speak is that it will make it much easier for those needing help in the  UK  and  around  the  world  to  get  it.  

Forums and groups are now fully mobile responsive enabling clients to easily use them on their phones, which is how 80% of clients contact us online.  

Response times have improved rapidly, and this reduces “bounce rates” – meaning that people don’t hang up after suffering a delay while waiting for the mobile application to search and find a site or a page.  

These sorts of lengthy and frustrating delays could lose as many as 90% of potential clients before. Now GT can be confidently promoted across all social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, knowing that clients will not be lost, and they will find what they are looking for in a reasonable time.  

The website has added new languages (Punjabi, Urdu, Hindu), and it also has the ability to include many more. This will mean opening up the service to new countries and cultures, and it will assist Gambling Therapy connecting with BAME and South Asian communities in the UK and globally.  

 

On top of that we have completed refurbishments at both Beckenham and Dudley and introduced  a  new  treatment  programme 

Similar  progress  has  been  made  with  our  recovery  house.  Our  Retreat  &  Counselling  (R&C)  has  also  developed  through  running  an  online  programme  for  men  and  women. 

The  Outreach  programme  has  similarly  expanded  its  provision  through  the  use  of  video  groups  that  offer  peer  support,  Q&As,  Women’s  groups,  topic  groups,  family  and  friends  groups  and  of  course  pre-support. 

All of these on their own are significant steps forward, but they are all coming together at a time when we are all facing huge challenges. 
And for us that is the point.  The world and its people, and    particularly those affected by gambling addiction, are all facing massive challenges. 

We want our services to be the best they can for those people we can help and support. 

So, we are not here just to ask, “Are you okay?”  -  as important as that is - but to offer the real quality of help that is so urgently needed, whether it is online or in person. 

We know there is lot more to do.  And we have plans in place for next year to keep making progress that brings real benefit for all our service users and their friends and family. 

We  also  want  to  make  sure  that  the  hidden  addiction  of  gambling  becomes  more  widely  understood  and  acted  upon. 
We  are  very  pleased  that  the  media  seems  to  be  picking  up  on  the  issue  and  presenting  it  in  a  balanced  and  sensitive  way  (see  below). 

We are hoping that Gordon Moody should be in a few national media stories over the next few days and there is growing interest in future coverage as well. 

We will keep you updated. 

 

Gordon Moody and the media 

 

As well as improving our own communications through websites, social media, and other channels, we have been working more with broadcast and print media in recent months. 

This has partly been because of increased awareness and interest because of the pandemic and lockdown.  But also, because we have also wanted to get important news out there, about how people can access services and helping people to know they are not alone and can get support. 

Understandably,  the  media  like  to  focus  on  case  studies  -  the  human  story  that  people  understand  most  readily. 
We  try  to  offer  that  if  we  can,  but  we  also  make  it  clear  to  media  organisations  what  we  are  not  prepared  to  do  and  the  duty  of  care  we feel  for  all  our  residents,  ex-residents,  their  friends  and  family  and  our  staff. 

We will not get involved in stories that are simply trying to sensationalise things or cause distress for anyone. 

And for us one of the most important things is ensuring media companies don’t just show the tough times but that they show that there is help and hope for people regardless of how challenging their personal situation is. 

 

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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GMA Weekly Blog 20th November 2020

Published: 20 November 2020 by Dunc

Gordon Moody’s Weekly round up 

Safer Gambling Week. 

 This week is Safer Gambling Week. And although it has its critics our view at Gordon Moody is that if it helps get across a message that makes people think about gambling behaviours then that’s to be welcomed.  

There is always important work to be done at an educational and preventative level to see that those displaying signs of gambling harm are identified. 

The messaging around safer gambling week has in the past been primarily directed at individuals who frequent bookmakers and casinos  and managing their behaviour. 

But, this year many of those outlets in the UK are closed because of lockdown. 

 And the many pressures arising from the covid pandemic, has meant that the gambling industry has had to recognise that society  is generally in a more challenging and vulnerable place, and that past practice and messaging are not the order of the day. 

And that’s the challenge we are all facing into this year, the bigger picture of the impact of lockdowns on mental health and a growing realisation that more people need support and more needs to be done. 

Our experience has seen many more people reaching out for help, and we have had to adjust services and deal with new situations accordingly.  

We also have to work with what is in front of us while keeping a watchful eye on the wider environment and the impact it is having on people. 

Many of those coming to Gordon Moody for help are presenting with a greater severity of issues. We’ve made the point that the intensity of what we are dealing with is on the rise. 

But how do you measure intensity and show it? 

Each person we deal with is different, and are not just a statistic to be recorded. Many of those people have gone way beyond a message about safer gambling. 

And nearly 50 per cent of those who reach out to us are what we call “affected others” - family and friends of severely addicted gamblers. 

There is much more that could be done in the area of helping these people identifying problems as they arise, and getting the right help and support at an early stage. 

And, we’ll keep banging the drum that more resource needs to be available to assist the families of severely addicted gamblers that come to Gordon Moody for treatment. 

So, increasing awareness through Safer Gambling Week has a part to play, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture and the messages we need to shout out in that area. 

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  

Congratulations 

It’s always great to share positive news and this week we had news of a wedding.  

Lea, an ex-service user from our Retreat and Counselling service said she did not want to get married until she was free of gambling so to see her realise that dream is inspiring and a wonderful achievement. Congratulations Lea, from us all at Gordon Moody we wish you and your wife a long and happy marriage. 

Our family and friends groups continue to provide much needed advice and emotional support to those affected by a loved ones gambling and it was wonderful to here from a mother of one of our former residents celebrating a year free of gambling 

 “One year ago today I left my eldest son at your place in Kent. I cannot thank you all enough for what you did with him and one year later he is still clean and a different person. No words can describe how it was to leave my son there but it was the best thing that could have happened. You guys were all amazing and I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart on my behalf and the rest of our family” 

Gambling addiction can be devastating both for the individual and for those around them but people can and do recover. If you or someone you love needs help, we are here for you. 

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

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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GMA Weekly Blog 13th November 2020

Published: 13 November 2020 by Dunc

What a week 

 by Matthew Hickey, chief executive Gordon Moody 

 What a week. That’s something we’ve been saying quite a lot lately. 

It’s been a full-on week for all our staff stepping up to the challenge of keeping our services running during lockdown and supporting those who need our help. (See below) 

And it’s been busy in other areas too. 
I did know at the start of the week that I would be giving evidence to the all-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on gambling related harm and also speaking to Professor Simon Dymond from Swansea University about options for residential treatment centres in Wales and related issues. But I didn’t anticipate that I’d be contacted by the Bishop of St Albans asking to be a signatory to a letter to the Times to call for support in a change to the law on recording suicides due to gambling harm. (which I did on behalf of Gordon Moody). 

All of these opportunities are part of an evolving conversation about how best to tackle problem gambling across the UK, following reports showing the impact on gamblers of the Covid pandemic and the pressures of long-term lockdowns and social distancing. 

The APPG were especially interested on the wider picture of how family and friends were being affected during the current covid crisis, and also if isolation and financial problems were causing a rise in mental health concerns. 

I was able to report on the excellent and important work being done by Gordon Moody staff in this area. Showing that we weren’t just getting the data to illustrate what is happening, but also showing how our frontline staff were doing innovative work and responding quickly to really help affected others cope better with extraordinary pressures during an incredibly challenging period. 

And, while it was vital to ensure Gordon Moody’s voice is heard loud and clear in all these important conversations, the main thing I am most proud of at the end of this week is the incredible things our staff do to ensure our service users and their families get the best help they can at this critical time. 

We are here for you and we can help  

Our service users are at the heart of everything we do. 

We see first hand how the ongoing pressures brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic have undoubtedly made life more difficult to cope with. And this has been reflected in the many applications and enquiries we receive from people who are desperately in need of help or are seeking support for a loved one. 

If you are in need of support with issues related to your gambling, or the gambling of a loved one, we are here to help.  

We realise reaching out for help can be challenging, particularly at this time, and full of unknowns or worries about it being difficult to get the right sort of help. 

So in recent weeks we have taken measures to make this process as easy and quick as possible. 

We have increased the ways in which you can contact us through different channels and having more advisers on hand to answer any questions you may have.  

Complex applications involving people in genuine crisis have been completed this week in a matter of hours, where previously it had taken days. 

 So, how does it work? 

To apply for a place on one of our treatment programmes you must complete our online application form. 

You can contact us by phone, email or text chat through our “talk to us” slot on the website.  

Or you can access our Gambling Therapy service or contact the national gambling helpline, for emotional support, which is available 24 hours daily. Whichever way you want to get in touch with us, we are here for you and we can help. 

Once an application is received our referral team will get to work to ensure you get a treatment plan as soon as possible.  

Once you have submitted your application, a member of our team will contact you to complete a further assessment over the phone. 

And more widely, we have been also been able to provide support quickly through our pre-support team for our treatment services, our family and friends support groups and referrals to partner organisations. 
We have worked with other treatment providers to create referral pathways for those struggling with issues such as isolation, poor mental health, substance abuse and suicidal ideation on top of their gambling issues.   

Any application will be then assessed by our referral panel where a treatment plan with us or one of our partners will be agreed.  

If you think you need help applying for a place at GMA please don’t think twice about it. Get in touch, we can’t say this often enough and loud enough.  

We are here for you and we can help. 

To apply for a place visit 

 For enquiries 

 Call 01384 241292 (lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) 

Email [email protected] (available 24hrs) 

“Talk to us” through Text Chat www.gordonmoody.org.uk (available 8am-2am Mon-Fri, 8am-10pm Sat-Sun) 

 For emotional support 

Or call the National Gambling Helpline 0808 8020 133 (available 24hrs) 

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