The Crisis and Counseling Center Skalbes, in cooperation with the Latvian Gaming Business Association (LIAB), is expanding the availability of the gambling addiction helpline to promote players' understanding of the risks of gambling addiction and to help them start fighting it.
The counseling helpline for gambling addicts and their co-addicts has been operating since 2018 with the support of LIAB member, Alfor LLC. Now, by joining the LIAB, there will be an opportunity to help a much larger number of people. This is currently the only specialized phone option support for those who experience the effects of gambling. The calls are answered by specially trained specialists of the center, who help the caller to recognize the signs of addiction, to find out the first steps to start the fight against it and the most effective types of treatment, as well as inform about the Register of self-denied persons. Within the framework of the cooperation project, it is also planned to develop educational materials and draw attention to the helpline through social networks.
"More support from the industry allows us to attract additional specialists and provide services to a wider range of people. Operation of the helpline is an important support mechanism, as is evidenced by the presence of calls and the wide range of problems that the callers talk about. Callers not only want to receive emotional support, but to understand specific steps as well. At the moment, we’re planning to provide a specialist twice a month, for example, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, an addiction specialist”, says Santa Laimiņa, the coordinator of the helpline for gambling addicts and their relatives.
The counseling helpline 29323202 has been operating for more than three years, helping people who have experienced gambling addiction, as well as their relatives and other fellow human beings. Until now, the helpline was available from Monday to Saturday, but from now on it will work throughout the week.
"We are pleased that the crisis support helpline, set up by the Alfor Group, continues to evolve and improve. In the new phase, we have not only provided direct support to players, but also informed the public about gambling addiction. This will reach a larger number of people who would need support", emphasizes Līva Biseniece, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Communication for Alfor Group.
“In accordance with the LIAB Code of Conduct, LIAB members adhere to the principles of responsible gaming, including providing information and appropriate support to customers with signs of addiction and their peers. The counseling helpline is an important element of support, which we will improve together”, points out LIAB President Arnis Vērzemnieks