Fermanagh and Omagh Locality Planning Members Get A Preview of New Gambling Awareness Service for Young People in Northern Ireland

Fermanagh and Omagh Locality Planning Members Get A Preview of New Gambling Awareness Service for Young People in Northern Ireland

A very successful taster session was facilitated on-line by Gillian McAtackney, GamCare for a large number of members from the Fermanagh and Omagh Locality Planning Groups. Gillian shared with members that gambling-related harm can have a significant impact on physical and mental health for young people. Research by Department for Communities in 2016 show that 67.2% of Northern Ireland’s population, aged 16 years and over, have taken part in some form of gambling in the past year; with 2.3% of the population found to be ‘problem gamblers’. This is higher than other regions in United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Tackling this concern, GamCare who is the UK’s leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms has expanded to Northern Ireland. They will begin to deliver gambling outreach, education and support to young people 11-19 years across the region from this autumn. Gamcare will offer free gambling awareness workshops which are designed to help young people make informed choices, better identify gambling problems, and understand how to access help from specialist services whether for themselves or a loved one. One of the first workshops in NI has been scheduled for members of Fermanagh and Omagh LPGs. There has been a steady stream of bookings, with those signing up commenting that they have noticed problem gambling among young people increasingly in the area.

GamCare’s Youth Outreach Officers will also be providing free, interactive gambling awareness workshops for young people, as well as accredited training for professionals supporting young people. This training gives professionals information about the risks of gambling, how to identify gambling-related harm in young people, have conversations with young people about gambling and signpost them into age-appropriate specialist services where needed. If you would like to receive professional training for your team please email: hello@bigdeal.org.uk

Young people who are at risk of developing a gambling problem, or who are affected by the gambling of someone close to them, can access information, advice and support via www.bigdeal.org.uk/getting-help/. This site is accessible 24/7.

GamCare  is very keen to collaborate with local stakeholders to ensure that the services they provided for young people are shaped to local need, if you have any other suggestions or queries about local need, please contact: gillian.mcatackney@gamcare.org.uk