11 September 2012 at 12:12 pm #2260janeyParticipant
The clarification of who we are funded to support has generated a great deal of debate which was to be expected. Over the past couple of years we have been attempting to sign post UK residents to Gamcare when their initial contact with us was via the helpline. The problem that we had was that not all new members logged into the helpline, some chose to use the forums initially or groups, moderated and un moderated. This meant that they became an integral part of the online therapeutic community making it difficult for us to then sign post on to the relevant organisation at a later stage.
Rightly or wrongly we chose to continue to support existing members from the UK expecting that the number of visits from the UK would decrease over time due to the sign posting taking place on the helpline. This did not happen and our UK membership continued to grow, some members choosing to use Gambling Therapy for support despite all attempts to refer them on to other forms of support.
So it would appear that our initial attempts to clarify our remit had failed, leaving us with no option other than to be more explicit in our message concerning who we are able to provide online support to. Our thoughts were that by posting on the forum we would reach a wider audience and prompt individuals to access the groups and helpline and send in e-mails with questions and concerns so that we could discuss the situation further. We did not have the option of sending out a blanket e-mail as previous attempts to do this demonstrated that many of the e-mail addresses that we have for our members are either incorrect of out of date.
We understand that our members both from inside and outside of the UK are being impacted upon greatly by this decision and we do not expect this change to take place overnight. We understand that we have a duty of care to all of our members and we take this responsibility very seriously. What we ask of our UK members is that over the next three months they start to form relationships within the relevant external organisations and put measures in place so that they are able to contact others within the Gambling Therapy community outside of Gambling Therapy to ensure the continuation of their support network.
After a period of three months we would ask that members respect the action that we have taken by accessing the relevant support. Any concerns about support other than Gambling Therapy should be directed at the organisation providing that support as we cannot comment on the type and level of support provided by other organisations.
It is with great regret that we have to bid a fond farewell to our valued and courageous UK service users, you will not be forgotten and we wish you well in your continued recovery.
The Gambling Therapy Team
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