Gambling Addiction Workshops & Talks

School Gambling Addiction Workshops

In September 2011, while in the final weeks of my treatment program in Cuan Mhuire – Athy, I was asked if I would be interested in sharing my gambling addiction story in a local school as part of Cuan Mhuire’s addiction awareness work in the community.

Nervously, I stood in front of a class of 6th year students and described how my gambling had started with a €1 winning bet, which ultimately led to an addiction that devastated my life, my family, my friendships, and everyone around me.

When I left Cuan Mhuire, I started my journey to become an Addiction Counsellor, and I now dedicate my life to helping and supporting others who have been negatively affected by gambling. However, I always felt that education and awareness about the potential negative impact that gambling can have is vitally important, as we now live in a technological world where online gambling & gaming is the new normal.

I developed the School Gambling Addiction Workshop and deliver the workshop to thousands of students in schools all over Ireland.

The workshop is centred around my own lived experience of a severe gambling addiction that spanned nearly a decade. The workshop is highly interactive, including a psychoeducational insight into gambling & gaming addiction. The Workshop finishes with a question-and-answer session with the students and teachers.

Workplace Workshops and Talks

I present corporate workshops and talks, customising the content to meet the specific requirements of the organisation. The workshop will cover numerous topics including stress management, coping strategies, resilience, and the creation of a supportive work environment to enhance positive mental health well-being among employees in the workplace.

By tackling gambling harm in the workplace, employers actively contribute to the overall well-being of their staff, fostering a healthier and more supportive work environment.

These workshops are also available to mental health professionals and organisations, sports clubs & societies, and Parents School Councils in the local community.

My goal is to ‘Start conversations about gambling addiction.’

It is important to highlight the importance of mental health and offer practical insights and tools to cultivate a psychologically well and productive work environment for all.

At Ashbourne Community School, we have been lucky enough to have Tony visit our school for the last number of years to speak to our TY and LCA students. Tony is a pleasure to work with. He has an incredibly important message to convey to both students, staff and their families. His story will no doubt save countless numbers of young people from drowning in gambling addiction. Gambling is a huge social issue, and once students are working they can began to gamble. Catching them early is so important. The students and staff who hear Tony’s story are blown away by his courage to tell his story. Without doubt the most useful and important workshop we have on our TY Programme. Continued success Tony. The country needs more people like you.

Caroline Mathews
Programme Coordinator Ashbourne Community School

Tony’s talk was incredibly engaging. Students were absolutely enthralled by his story. It is obviously a powerful message and a strong lesson on gambling addiction, but the delivery in the form of an interesting narrative offered so much more. At the end of the talk, our students were really interested in learning more about supports, addiction and mental health services and the rehabilitation and prison systems. Tony’s story had it all, and most importantly it had a powerful message about getting help when you need it. I would highly recommend Tony for a really enriching and impactful student workshop.

Sion Hill College

Students really enjoyed the session with Tony around addition and his story. The talk was very compelling and students were extremely engaged throughout even asking numerous good questions at the end. The key learning students took from the talk was about understanding the psychology of gambling and recognising the potential signs of a problem, either in themselves or others.. Students enjoyed the personal nature of the talk and how even at the lowest of points, it is possible to get support and help to turn things in a positive direction. I would recommend this talk to others as it offers great opportunities for students to learn about themselves from other peoples’ experiences.

Mungret Community College

Tony will hopefully become a regular part of our transition year programme. Many thanks Tony for the engagement and giving your time to build awareness of Gambling harm in particular online Gambling considering the devices our students have available to them 24 hours a day.

Sarah Portmarnock

I just wanted to thank you for your recent visit to Dunshaughlin Community College. Through your open and honest account of an arduous life journey, you really impressed upon our students the dangers lurking behind that simple first bet. You completely captivated your audience and explained the horrors of addiction without judgement.

Your experience was insightful and frightening but also hopeful and inspiring. Thank you for being so generous with your time and for sharing your story with the students.

We would be delighted to have you back next year, if you are available.

Anne-Marie O' Brien

The students said it was the best talk they ever had

Principal - Patrician Presentation Secondary School