Helplink's National Gambling Addiction Counselling Service Launches

Posted on 27 Feb 2020

Helplink Mental Health – a registered charity, providing accessible services locally in the West of Ireland, nationally and internationally has now joined forces with the Gambling Awareness Trust to provide a national gambling addiction / gambling dependency counselling service; that is available for free; 7 days a week and out-of-hours.

Helplink‘s vision is to be Ireland’s leading provider of accessible, free or low-cost mental health services locally in the West of Ireland, nationally and internationally. The three types of services that Helplink provides are: Counselling, Information Provision and Education.

This national gambling addiction / gambling dependency counselling service is for anyone aged over 16 years old and their family members who have been affected by the addiction of their loved one. The national service was officially launched in Galway at the Portershed with Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on Tuesday 25 February.

“ For over 7 years Helplink has been leading the way in providing accessible free and low cost counselling services locally in the West of Ireland, nationally and internationally (for example  we provide a free online counselling service to Irish people living abroad and returning home from living abroad). In addition to our national general, youth and couples counselling services, available online at low costs, we also provide an addiction counselling service nationally. However it wasn’t until we partnered with the Gambling Awareness Trust that we were able to start providing gambling addiction counselling for free! This is huge for us and our clients because of our main aims is take down barriers for engaging with counselling - finance is one of those barriers” explains Lochlann Scott, CEO of Helplink.

Lochlann continues to explain that lack of accessible services are often another barrier and that Helplink overcomes this by “by providing our services 7 days a week and out-of-hours and also providing these services online so people can get their support at home or in other private settings”.

The statistics around gambling addiction are startling - according to Freyne[1] approximately 30-35% of the gambling industry’s revenues come from those who have gambling issues. Furthermore, gambling is moving online, making it more difficult to monitor the behavioural activities of a loved one. According to the Rutland Centre in 2008[2], there were 1,365 betting shops in Ireland, which reduced to 948 in 2015. Paddy Power reports that 77% of its profits comes from the online side of the industry.

Helplink appointment opening hours, for this and its other counselling services, are from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 12 to 6pm Saturday and Sunday (Closed on Bank Holidays and Christmas/New Year’s Eve). The service is available through online counselling (like Skype but more secure) or by phone nationwide.

Contact by emailing or by phone to 0818 998880 to arrange an appointment or to get more information on this and Helplink’s other services log onto their website  

Chair of Helplink Gilles Varette  Chair of Gambling Awareness Trust Tom Hayes and Executive Coordinator at GAT Pam Bergin

Launch Audience


Mayor of Galway City Mike Cubbard and Helplink CEO Lochlann Scott





[1] Freyne, Patrick. "Gambling 24/7: The Addiction Ireland Doesn’t Know Enough About". The Irish Times. N.p., 2015.

[2] Rutland Centre (2020) website available from