THE PSNI in Coalisland, along with partner agencies, including the Dunlewey Addiction Services Centre and Southern Health and Social Care Trust, have launched a gambling awareness campaign in order to raise awareness of the potential consequences of engaging in this type of activity.
Following a formation of a multi-agency suicide awareness forum, the PSNI along with partner agencies, including the Dunlewey Addiction Services Centre and Southern Health and Social Care Trust, came together in an attempt to address the issue of gambling, which was discussed as a potential contributing factor.
“It is clear that gambling can wreck lives. Local neighbourhood police officers and partner agencies have embarked on this campaign to raise awareness within the local community with regards underage and gambling addiction. This was to be two-fold, firstly to remind licensees and bookmakers of their responsibilities and secondly enforcement where needed, to advise proprietors and remove illegal machines,” explained Constable John Paul McCartan.
“Local neighbourhood officers spoke with the proprietors of local businesses where gaming machines were prohibited. Proprietors were reminded of their responsibilities. Local businesses worked with Police in addressing this issue.
Annette Daykin Goodall, director of the Dunlewey Centre, “While the issues of drug and alcohol abuse is widely known by members of the public, gambling and gambling addiction can also lead, in extreme circumstances, to depression and all too often suicide. We are happy to be working with the PSNI to raise awareness and tackle this issue.”
Nuala Quinn, Protect Life Coordinator at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “For some people gambling can develop into a serious problem which can have a negative effect on health, particularly their mental health.
We welcome the opportunity to highlight this issue and are pleased to be working with the PSNI and the Dunlewey Centre to address such an area of concern. We would encourage anyone who is concerned about gambling to seek help.”
Constable McCartan added that help was available for those who needed it. A free helpline is staffed and supported by trained counsellors from the Dunlewey Centre in Ballymena who are there to help and offer support. The number to call is 08000 886 725.