We’re shining a light on the impact gambling can have on mental health and encouraging open conversations with loved ones or our Helpline Advisers for Time to Talk Day.
Today is Time to Talk Day – the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. The campaign is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, and across the UK it’s delivered by See Me in Scotland, Inspire in Northern Ireland, and Time to Change Wales.
Impacts of gambling on mental health
Gambling can have a huge impact on mental health, whether it’s from your own gambling or a loved one’s. While some turn to gambling to cope with stress or low mood, it often intensifies these challenges. In 2022/23, those who reported being affected by gambling to our Helpline:
- 80% reported Anxiety/Stress
- 62% reported Depression/Low Mood
Sometimes it can feel less challenging talking to someone you don’t know who can give you an unbiased and listening ear. In 2023, our Helpline received 53,370 calls and online chats – the highest volume recorded since the service began. In December, we saw a 39% increase compared to the same month the year before, the busiest Christmas period ever recorded.
Find what’s right for you
Time to Talk Day is an opportunity to start having open conversations about your mental health. However, we know this can be easier said than done.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a loved one about how you’re feeling, our National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7. We understand it can feel daunting talking to someone on the phone, especially when you’re feeling vulnerable. We have other ways you can get in touch:
Talk to one of our Advisers through live chat or WhatsApp (both available 24/7) or chat with people in similar situations through our moderated chatrooms and forum. Any contact is a good step, choose a method you feel ready for.
We have a blog all about what to expect when you contact our Helpline to remove the fear of the unknown when getting in touch.
Talking openly on our Helpline
Honest conversations play a significant role in breaking down the stigma around both gambling and mental health and can help lift some weight from your shoulders. Here is what our Helpline users have said after reaching out:
“The Adviser was understanding and made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my feelings. Much appreciated for a first chat.”
“When I was really upset and struggling, it was great to be able to contact someone who listened and helped me work through the situation. I feel as though I now have support and I really appreciated that.”
Being there for others
Of course, loved ones may be coming to you for conversations about their mental health. Approaching these conversations with understanding and empathy will create a supportive environment where your loved ones feel heard, valued, and more inclined to share their thoughts and emotions openly.
We’re here if you need someone to talk to, whether it’s today on Time to Talk Day or any other day of the year, our National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7. Remember, there are many ways to get in touch if you’re not comfortable calling us. Make the step that feels right for you, and we’ll be on the other end of the line ready to help.