Last February, the Gambling: Help and Referral helpline launched a chat service on its web site, a few days before Québec’s state of health emergency. Today, more than 1 500 chats were answered by our team.
Helping people addicted to gambling for more than 27 years, Gambling: Help and Referral felt the need to diversify its tools in order to pursue its mission with a broader population. « Implementing a chat service does in fact enable us to reach people that are more comfortable with writing than talking on the telephone or even to reach excessive gamblers, as well as, their loved ones in search of more discretion than the telephone can provide », stated Mrs. Hélène Hamel, Director of the Specialized Helplines in Addiction.
Following the evolution of gambling practices and means of communication
Gambling: Help and Referral, known for many years for its support of people addicted to gambling in the casinos or in bars reminds us that its mission has evolved as well over the last years, with an increase of requests for help regarding online gambling and addiction to video games. Its counselors were trained accordingly and were also trained for the arrival of the chat service. « Intervention is different with chat and our team quickly conquered intervention via writing. Conversation and the pace of the writing often prolong the length of the discussions. We have developed guidelines so that emotions are well conveyed and understood during these conversations. It is quite a job and we are proud of each counselor’s ability to adapt », adds Mrs. Maxime Miranda, Coordinator of Development for the Specialized Helplines in Addiction.