FROM ONLINE GAMING TO ONLINE GAMBLING
Helping families recognise the early warning signs and how to prevent addiction
GRA5P: Recovery & Support Programme
My name is Steve Watts and through my own lived experience of dealing with a son who developed an online gaming addiction, which escalated into a gambling disorder, I was empowered to set up the charity GamFam.
As a family, we had no-one to talk to. We had no idea where to go for support, nor that a gambling addiction was in fact, a recognised mental disorder. Things could have been so different for our family, ‘if only we knew then, what we know now’. It is with this ‘lived experience’ we hope that your family will also be able to start recovering from the effects of a gambling disorder.
For families of those affected by a gambling disorder, the impact can be devastating. However, help is available both on an emotional and practical level through GRA5P, our five-stage GamFam Recovery and Support Programme.
GRA5P is a self-help group designed specifically for families of the disordered gambler (or, as we say, the family member). It delivers a strong support network so affected others can understand the full extent of the problem and talk with those who can relate to their situation. It offers guidance on how families can help themselves, which in turn will help the family member, as well as practical suggestions for coping day-by-day and moving towards a more positive future.
Each group is run by a trained Facilitator and usually has between 6 to 10 members. Groups can run up to three times a week with the option of further 1 to 1 peer support if required. There is also the opportunity to speak with a trained counsellor should the member need additional support beyond the main group.
Due to the current Coronavirus situation all groups are currently running remotely via Zoom. However, it is hoped that in the future the opportunity to have ‘face to face’ meetings will be available.
I hope you find the GRA5P approach helpful. ‘What works for one family may not work for another’, but knowing the help and support that is available and by using the experience of others, GRA5P is a good place to begin.