A new campaign has been launched to try to tackle problem gambling in the north-east.
GambleAware has invested more than £100,000 to see awareness raised of the National Gambling Helpline, encouraging more people to come forward and seek treatment.
The campaign, which will use the side of buses to get its message across, will run until Christmas.
As well as this, GambleAware, which aims to help people get treatment within the space of a few weeks, is also working with local colleges to help students.
In Scotland, there are more than 230,000 people classed as being either problem gamblers or are at risk of becoming one.
In the north-east, only seven people have come forward to GambleAware in the past year.
Iain Corby, deputy chief executive of GambleAware, said: “We’ve always been concerned only about 2% of people with a gambling problem come forward to get help and advice and we didn’t know if that was because they didn’t know where to go and find help or if they’re just reluctant to ask for it.
“Our intention in Aberdeen is to make sure you cannot move without seeing the GambleAware.org or National Gambling Helpline.
“We’re spending more than £100,000 on this campaign.
“Half is to make sure there’s extra treatment available locally that’s provided by the RCA Trust.
“It’s not just aimed at problem gamblers but also their friends and family, because we know that quite often they will be the first people to spot a problem.”
The campaign is being supported by Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart, who got in contact with GambleAware and other organisations to see if there was more that could be done in the area.
Mr Stewart said: “I am really pleased that we are having this campaign here in the north-east to highlight problem gambling to show the world here that help is available and to publicise the national gambling helpline.
“I’m very grateful to GambleAware and other organisations who came to Aberdeen at my request to discuss what we could do here after a number of constituents came to me about difficulties they faced themselves or their families were facing.
“It is really important that we provide the help necessary to help people beat their addiction.
“Sometimes the phone call itself to the helpline is enough to resolve a problem.
“On other occasions, more intensive support is required and I’m glad this campaign is also being backed up with the resources to help people who have difficulties.”
Wendy Bendel-Milne, whose partner took his own life due to gambling addiction, welcomed the new campaign, although she said there is still more that could be done in the area to improve the situation.
She said: “To have this service is very positive and it will be a massive help to those in need.
“I’m really glad that addiction is being recognised and its severity is being addressed.
“However, there needs to be more work done in schools to catch the problem of addiction early.
“Also there are still too many bookmakers on the streets. This isn’t helping.”