In 1998 the B.C. Lottery Corporation set up a “self-exclusion” program aimed at problem gamblers. This was prepared to at least tackle the issue of casino gambling in people’s lives. Since then, research has shown that there are severe psychological effects due to problem-gambling that can manifest itself into impulsive behavior that occurs in other areas of life such as family, relationships, careers, and personal health. In other words: addiction.
It is with careful planning and great pride that Together We Can announces their first session of the Gambling and Video Game Program to address clients’ needs surrounding these other equally important addictions. The groups begin Friday, February 6th 2015 with TWC Counsellor and Interventionist Carol Anne Turbitt. Our “GVGA” provides one-on-one and group therapy, 12-Steps through Gamblers Anonymous, SMART techniques, and other structured approaches to educate and assist those in need. Carol had this to say about her passion for this program:
“I have personally had experience with a family member and friends suffering from addiction due to gambling and one of the major concerns about the addiction is that it oftentimes remains secretive and publicly unacceptable. It involves large amounts of money, a change in all aspects of lifestyle, and it decimates one’s ability to have a healthy future. This is a growing problem that should not only be considered with casinos and ‘traditional’ ways of gambling, but online and video games as well.”
In a recent study published in the Vancouver Province, it is reported that $560 million dollars is made through problem-gamblers. While the numbers may be shocking to some, it isn’t a surprise to others that there is a widely distributed crisis of gambling addiction that isn’t necessarily being spoken about in the right way.
Here at TWC, our counsellors have identified the need for specific problem-gambling and gaming programming that clients can participate in to address their underlying issues. We look forward to comments, feedback, and questions from clients and supporters of TWC regarding this issue.