GamCare, which has operated the National Gambling Helpline for over 25 years, is today announcing a series of new digital products and services to help increase online support for people struggling with their gambling.
The charity has developed a new online portal, MyGamCare, which is free for anyone interested in exploring their relationship with gambling, as well as finding out how to get support.
MyGamCare offers an online self-help area where people can set goals, view content that is personalised to them, track their moods and get resources to help and support them in their journey with gambling. It is also designed to help those struggling with gambling to self-manage their journey, by understanding how gambling may be their impacting time, money, relationships, and wellbeing.
The launch comes after the Helpline received the highest number of calls for any month on record in January 2023, with advisors increasingly citing examples of how the cost-of-living crisis is causing people to turn to gambling. Over 3,700 online chats and calls were made across the month, a 17 percent increase compared to the same time period last year.
In addition, GamCare is also unveiling that the Helpline is now available to contact through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, offering more opportunities for people to reach out in a way that is easiest for them. Early data from the Helpline reveals that it is most frequently people under 35 who are reaching through the respective platforms.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, says: “With almost four in five people who used our services last year citing issues with online gambling, we know that the nature of gambling has changed significantly over the last ten years and that more can be done to reach people when and where the harm is occurring.
“With the introduction of MyGamCare - along with our WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger capabilities - we hope to open the door for people to get help sooner and to reach out for support in a way that works for them. We know how difficult making that first step can be and how many people might not feel at a stage to talk about their gambling yet. It’s important that the options are there for people to start that journey in whichever way they are most comfortable.”
Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware said: “We’re pleased to see the launch of the new MyGamCare service and hope it will be a vital resource for those who need it. We know that gambling harms can affect anyone. This is why services such as MyGamCare are so important as they provide free, digital advice and information for anyone who is worried about gambling, or is experiencing harms from gambling.”
Ellis Platten, Youtuber and podcaster comments, “It’s fantastic being onboard and supporting the launch of MyGamCare, after working on previous campaigns with GamCare. Having experienced gambling-related harm myself, I understand the importance of having suitable support out there that can be accessed 24 hours a day. My generation are never far away from their smartphones, so having support at your fingertips is a fantastic way to reach people, making it as easy as possible for people to make that first step and ask for help.”
GamCare is the leading provider of free information, advice and support for anyone harmed by gambling in Great Britain. Every year, GamCare receives over 42,000 calls to the National Gambling Helpline, a service where anyone affected by gambling, whether their own or someone else’s, can get support 24/7, every day of the year.
GamCare operates the National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk, providing information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling, funded by GambleAware. Advisers are available 24/7, every day of the year.
GamCare provides a range of free treatment and support services to anyone affected by gambling harms across England, Scotland, Wales, as well as a moderated online Forum and daily chatrooms so that people can speak to others experiencing similar issues and seek support. Find out more at www.gamcare.org.uk
GamCare is part of the National Gambling Treatment Service, funded by GambleAware.