On the 26th of April, this year, Extern Problem Gambling were proud to launch the ‘Hidden Problem’ campaign with the support of campaign ambassadors Oisín McConville and Niall McNamee. We were in a position to begin providing a free helpline and online counselling service to anyone on the island of Ireland. Backed by a large-scale awareness raising media campaign, we were inundated with calls and emails from people seeking help for themselves or for loved ones. In the first 3 months since the campaign launched, we have delivered:
Three-quarters of people seeking helpline supports sought them for their own gambling problem, while 1 in 4 people seeking helpline supports contacted Hidden Problem regarding a loved one’s gambling problem.
6,295 new users visited www.problemgambling.ie over the last 3 months. This is an increase of 64% compared with the same 3 month period in 2020. According to problem gambling prevalence data, there are roughly 60,000 people with gambling problems on the island of Ireland (~30,000 ROI and ~30,000 NI).
On average, roughly 3 new people are seeking information on help for a gambling problem, from our website, every hour of the day.
We are seeing a broad geographical spread of people accessing the website. As the service is delivered remotely, we can work with people anywhere on the island of Ireland.
Raising awareness of problem gambling reduces stigma and increases help-seeking. This is so important when help-seeking rates are so low among people affected by gambling related harm. We will continue to raise awareness of the risks associated with gambling, as well as the supports available to anyone affected by a gambling problem - and encourage anyone who has any concerns about their own gambling, or that of a loved one, to make contact with the Hidden Problem service.
Send us a Text Message 0892415401 (ROI) 07537142265 (NI) or Email (contact form), if you would like to arrange a completely confidential phone call, or simply get information and advice via email or text.
Barry Grant, Addiction Counsellor, Founder.