Woman feared losing home after partner kept gambling issues from her
Gambling harms don’t just affect the person who gambles, they affect their family and friends around them too, and Nicola is urging those people to reach out for support if they are worried about their partner’s or a loved ones gambling. She is speaking out as GambleAware launches a new national public health campaign to let people know there is lots of help and support and to get more people talking openly about gambling harms.
After learning of her now ex-partner’s gambling harms around five years ago, Nicola feared she’d no longer be able to have enough money to survive on a day-to-day basis, let alone afford to keep her home.
She also realised it was not just financially she was affected, it was the other issues which came with it, which had a real impact.
“From my perspective it was quite overwhelming and I had quite a lot of guilt in a sense as a wife, as a mother, that somebody that I’d been living with for all this time had been experiencing these issues and I didn’t know,” she said.
“This one person he should have been able to trust and share it with, he couldn’t.
“It’s quite easy to think of the debts when you first think about gambling related harms but it goes so much deeper than the financial harms, it really sends shockwaves through life as you know it.
“It’s like chasing bits of collateral damage. It got me mentally, emotionally and physically.
“I used to dread payday coming round. I would be wondering if there was enough to get through the next few days, the week and then the rest of the month, but there was the real reality of, am I losing my home? Have I put all the protections for me and my family in place that are needed?”
GambleAware and the National Gambling Helpline are not just there to help the person who gambles, but also the family and friends around that person, and as a result Nicola was able to get the support she needed.
“The call advisors at the National Gambling Helpline are there not just for the person who’s gambling themselves, but for anyone who’s been impacted by gambling related harms,” she added.
“What they can do is put you in touch with your local regional provider who will offer more one-to-one support, whether that be through talking therapies or holistic programmes.
“You can have that safe space where you can share what’s been going on in your own family circumstances and be offered free support at the earliest opportunity.
“There are people out there who know, they understand, they get it, and it’s a safe space.”
Nicola believes it’s very easy to get caught up in the social aspect of gambling and the thrill of it all, but she urges everyone to try and look past that.
“In the current landscape of gambling everybody’s wrapped up in the social, the banter, the humour, but what is really easy to overlook is that for that one person whether it’s a family member, whether it’s a friend, it’s a work colleague, there is no thrill, there is no joy anymore,” she remarked.
“If you have concerns around somebody you love or you know, ask the question, take a look and then take a deeper look.”
GambleAware wants to break the stigma around speaking about gambling harms and offers free advice, tools and support for anyone who is worried about their own or someone else’s gambling. Search GambleAware to find out more and let’s open up about gambling.
Featured Image Credit: LADbible