A new support service has been launched in Loughrea to assist people dealing with harmful gambling habits.
The problem gambling service was officially launched this week by Gambling Awareness Trust and is now available at Loughrea Family Resource Centre (FRC).
The centre will now provide professional and confidential counselling services to those experiencing harmful gambling and their families.
Speaking about the service, Pam Bergin, Executive Director of Gambling Awareness Trust, strongly encouraged anyone in Galway who is experiencing harmful gambling to contact their local FRC.
She said that harmful gambling can have serious consequences for people’s mental health, their employment and relationships.
“International research reports that for every single person identified with a ‘gambling disorder’, up to six other people are impacted significantly.
“Given the estimated prevalence of 55,000 problem gamblers in Ireland this presents a significant number of individuals affected in Irish society and highlights the need for increased services and supports in this area.”
Pam Bergin added that the National Problem Gambling Support Service will provide vital community-based support to help those experiencing harmful gambling and their affected others.
“Through the FRCs, Gambling Awareness Trust wants to end the stigma attached to problem gambling by sending a strong message to those affected that professional and confidential support is available.”
Fergal Landy, CEO Family Resource Centre National Forum, added: “The Family Resource Centre National Forum is delighted to collaborate with Gambling Awareness Trust to contribute to the development of a National Problem Gambling Support Service for those experiencing harmful gambling and their families.”