If you find you need support over the holidays you can call the Gambling Helpline on 0800 654 655 or text 8006 for over the phone support or counselling, discreet on-going support and support during a crisis – including public holidays.
We spoke to Brenda-Lee Denniston one of the registered psychotherapists at the Gambling Helpline, to find out what you can expect from this service over the holidays.
1. Do you usually see a spike in people calling and asking for help over the festive season?
2. What tips or strategies would you give someone struggling with a gambling problem over the festive season to help them cope?
3. What you can expect when you call the Gambling Helpline?
4. Making that phone call is always really hard. How do you make people feel more comfortable when calling the Gambling Helpline?
5. How do your staff work with affected others? (i.e. family members, friends etc.). What can affected others expect when they call the Gambling Helpline?
Brenda-Lee Denniston is a registered psychotherapist who works across all the mental health and addictions services at Homecare Medical (New Zealand’s national telehealth service). She works on all lines including the Gambling Helpline and has worked in face-to-face gambling services in the past. She has a great understanding of the challenges of this often hidden issue.