Confronting the effects of a gambling problem can be overwhelming and feelings of embarrassment and shame can prevent individuals from reaching out for help. But working with a trained professional can help individuals overcome what feels like the most desperate situation.
Health region gambling counsellors are specifically trained in the area of problem gambling and have experience working with gamblers and their families to regain control over their lives.
What to Expect
- Hope and optimism for the future
- Acceptance of your situation
- Support in developing a recovery plan that will match your circumstance
- Knowledge that will empower you to regain control over your life
- Personal skill development (ie: effective communication, conflict resolution, self-esteem, money management)
- Relapse prevention strategies will be developed to combat the urge to gamble
Individual sessions usually last an hour but can last longer. Information shared during the session is confidential.
At the first meeting, the counsellor will ask questions about the person’s situation and will assist the gambler with urgent, immediate issues first. This might include:
- Establishing controls to limit spending or access to money;
- Discussing ways to avoid gambling venues; and
- Dealing with urgent emotional, family, legal, work or school issues.
The gambling counsellor may recommend a plan of action that includes a certain number of sessions and topics for discussion. These topics may include:
- Financial management,
- Stress reduction,
- Family communication skills,
- Alternative recreational activities,
- Practical ideas on how to avoid “triggers” to gambling; and
- The role of Gamblers Anonymous
The counsellor may suggest other professional resources to assist with areas such as legal problems, financial crisis or severe depression.
All clients must be seen by a health region gambling counsellor and are pre-screened to determine if they are ready to join group programming. The Saskatchewan Problem Gambling Helpline cannot refer directly to group programs, however, they can identify group programs as an option to clients once they have been seen by a Regina or Saskatoon Problem Gambling Health Region Counsellor.
Mixed Group Program (Regina)
A variety of topics are chosen on a weekly basis, depending upon participant needs. Participants are encouraged to work through issues and develop recovery skills associated with their individual recovery. A gambling counsellor from the respective health region attends each session.
Women’s Group (Regina)
For women only, this group recognizes the special needs of female gamblers in achieving recovery related to their gambling issues. A gambling counsellor from the region attends each session.
Held in Regina and Saskatoon, Intensive Day Treatment Programs are 30 hours in length and run over five consecutive days. Both locations accept clients from across Saskatchewan, with spots reserved for out of town/rural residents.
The day programs are intended for:
People who want or require more than individual or group counselling;
Those who recognize their gambling is a problem and have struggled in recovery.
This service is more in-depth than individual counselling.
There is no cost for this programming other than travel to and from the location of service. Accommodations are also provided free of charge and clients are welcome to stay overnight, but do not have to if they wish to go home.
Referrals can come directly from the person with the concern or from another service provider. For more detailed information about programming or to make a referral, call a problem gambling counsellor in Regina or Saskatoon.
Saskatoon: Sam Steckler 306-655-4121
Regina: Wendy Schwartz 306-766-6611
Video Counselling (TeleHealth) 1-855-765-6550 – Shelly Carriere
Available to all Saskatchewan residents, live one on one counselling can be accessed in more than 60 locations. Video counselling is a good option for people living in remote areas where in-person services are limited or when individuals would like to receive services outside their home community. Clients can expect a similar process for video counselling as what is described for individual counselling. The only difference is the counsellor and the client are meeting through a video link.
This no-cost service is provided in a confidential setting by a qualified health region problem gambling counsellor.
Working with a trained professional can help individuals overcome what feels like the most desperate situation.
Call the Saskatchewan Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-306-6789 to find out how to contact a gambling counsellor near you. You can also look up a gambling counsellor near you in the Directory of Services.