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Two of the country’s leading helplines, Gambling Helpline and Kidsline, have agreed to work more closely together, providing a consistent approach towards helping families and individuals affected by problem gambling
“At Kidsline we often receive calls from children concerned about a parent’s gambling,” says Jo Denvir, Chief Executive of Lifeline Aotearoa, which operates both helplines. “Gambling Helpline has tremendous experience in offering support and strategies to those affected by gambling, and by working with Kidsline we’re ensuring we offering the best support we can to children in New Zealand, who may be affected by gambling.”
One example of this collaboration is Gambling Helpline’s Youth service, which was specifically set up to help young people cope with the effects of gambling on their lives. “The Youth Gambling Helpline provides free support for any young people affected by gambling” says youth service leader Josh Thurston. “Like Kidsline, we believe in youth helping youth, so our gambling counsellors are young too”.
Gambling Helpline, which operates the 0800 654 655 number associated with the Government’s Choice not Chance campaign, takes a gambling neutral stance, refusing to vilify gambling or gamblers.
“We don’t believe in coming out and saying that gambling, per se, is bad,” says Ms Denvir. “However there are obviously cases like the one currently in the media where gambling is harmful to families and children, where people lose control of their gambling and it affects others. We are here to help New Zealanders ensure their gambling is safe; both for their families, and themselves.”