While still in the critical stages of the COVID pandemic, Tejus and Minal (Co-founders of the RecoverMe app) took time out of their busy schedules to come and speak with the ‘All Bets Are Off Podcast’ Team. In episode 8 of the podcast, Tejus and Minal did a fantastic job at explaining through their journey, the effectiveness of CBT in recovery, and how their solution works. Moreover, this was a great experience for all those involved as both the podcast team and the RecoverMe team are aficionados of each other’s work!
About the All Bets Are Off Podcast
I guess to talk about the origin of the podcast; I have to introduce myself first. My name is Kishan, and I am a 5th Year Medical Student at Imperial College. I have been working on gambling-harm research since October 2019. In April 2020, that’s after seven months working primarily by myself, I saw a tweet posted asking if people would be interested in a podcast aimed at supporting people in gambling-recovery during the lockdown, and naturally, I gave all my support to this. A few DM’s later and by the next day, we had a team.
Unfortunately, I was not able to make an appearance nor do any editing on the sound quality, for the podcast for the first few episodes due to academic commitments towards a final project as part of my intercalated BSc degree in Year 4. I did, however, have boundless enthusiasm and hope for the podcast, and I showed this to the team by working behind the scene on the logo and helping set up the website in the background.
So, who exactly are the “All Bets Are Off” team? We are a group of individuals with lived experience of the most severe form of gambling-harm. We started as a group of four, consisting of Ryan, Kelly, Chris, and Kishan (me). While Ryan, Kelly, and Chris are in recovery from gambling addiction and so are living proof of what can be achieved with the right help and support, I have lived experience through my Dad who suffered from an unresolved problem with gambling right until his sudden and unexpected passing.
Kelly has now moved on from the podcast team due to personal reasons, and she is well missed by all of us. It goes without saying that we are still pushing ahead, after completing our first 12 episodes, and we are working hard to deliver season 2 – which will be coming sooner than you think.
The underlying motivation in all of us in starting the podcast was and always will be to help others. We all started with the idea that we would like to help just one person to stay in recovery or promote just one person to start the recovery journey. Helping one person might not sound like a lot, but each of us knows from experience that the benefits for that individual are invaluable and incomparable. Furthermore, we know that there are unimaginably massive positive effects for the people and the community around that individual.
Based on the messages that we have received; we think that we have hit our initial goal, but this has helped us to realise that what we are doing works. As well as sharing insights from our experiences as hosts, we bring on a wide range of guests to talk about their experiences and discuss tips and strategies to mitigate gambling-harm.
In each of our episodes, we talk about the different places that an individual go to get help and support. And so that is why we were particularly enthusiastic about the RecoverMe app; we love the work that is being done by Tejus, Minal, Adil and the rest of the RecoverMe team, to revolutionise how individuals can get help and support at their fingertips at all hours. We have a shared vision, a shared goal, that gambling-harm can be mitigated and even prevented, and that is why this is just the beginning.
When the RecoverMe team say that they care about gambling-harm, they mean it. The RecoverMe team have and continue to listen to people with lived experience. And they are using what they understand about gambling-addiction and CBT to develop a smartphone solution to help those with lived experience. For this, we applaud them as being some of our inspiring NHS heroes, and we look forward to using the app!
Links to Listen
What help is available?
RecoverMe is a mobile application that will be available to download in Mid-September. It will be the first of its kind app to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy and other support tools tailored to help those with a gambling problem. The app has been made by NHS doctors with the help of psychologists, psychiatrists, and most importantly, individuals who previously had a gambling disorder. If you’d like to be one of the first to try the app out, register your interest at www.recovermeapp.co.uk
Gamblers Anonymous UK runs support groups that use the same 12-step approach to recovery from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous. Help available via a Forum, Chat Room, Literature and of course most importantly a meeting finder. Meetings are available online.
GamCare offers free information, support and counselling for problem gamblers in the UK. It runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) and offers live-chat options that are also available 24 hours a day.
NHS Problem Gambling Clinics For individuals aged 16 or over, living in England or Wales, and have complex problems related to gambling; you can refer yourself to specialist NHS clinics. Contact the National Clinic based in South-West London at email@example.com, providing a contact number or 020 7381 7722, leaving a contact number. The Northern NHS Gambling Clinic can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org providing a contact number, a call on 0300 3001490, or a service contact form.
Gordon Moody Association offers residential courses – email email@example.com or call 01384 241292 to find out more.
GamAnon A great place to get some immediate advice and support if you are affected by a gambling problem in your family.
Samaritans To help with whatever you are going through, call for free on 116 123.
Childline Help for those up to the age of 18, call for free on 0800 1111 or chat online