PROBLEM GAMBLING SUPPORT: Help bring up the subject to your loved one with a gambling problem.
PROBLEM GAMBLING SUPPORT: Help bring up the subject to your loved one with a gambling problem. Contributed

Take the awkward out of talking about problem gambling

TALKING to a loved one about gambling issues will become less awkward with the launch by Gambling Help North Coast of a unique new animated e-card as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

The week runs from May 23–27, providing an opportunity to raise awareness about the free counselling services and support tools available for people experiencing gambling problems.

“The theme of RGAW 2016 is Family and Friends for two very important reasons. The support of family and friends can make a major difference in helping problem gamblers muster the strength to overcome their gambling addiction,” Julie Curnow, a Gambling Help psychologist with Lifeline North Coast, said.

“However, at the same time an estimated 10 other people can be negatively affected by one person’s gambling problem – not only partners and family but also workmates and friends - so they may also need support as well.

“One of the biggest challenges can be raising the issue of problem gambling. It can be a very awkward thing to do. People are often afraid that mentioning someone’s gambling problem may damage their relationship with that person,” Julie said.

In response, Gambling Help is launching an animated e-card campaign, Talkward, to help break through any stigma and encourage dialogue and support from family and friends.

The e-cards, which can be customised and personalised, humorously focus on a thorny subject but carry a serious message: now we’ve got the awkward bit out of the way, let’s have a talk in real life.

“We are also launching another resource during RGAW, a free self-help booklet for family and friends,” said Julie. “It has a wealth of information on how to protect yourself financially and emotionally and also assist loved ones with their problem,” Julie said.

“At Gambling Help North Coast free counselling services are available to family and friends from across Coffs Harbour, Nambucca, Bellingen and Clarence LGA’s as well as problem gamblers. We completely recognise family and friends need support as well as practical advice to address a very challenging situation.

“Other awareness activities in Coffs Harbour include a free screening of the Australian movie “Broke” on Wednesday, May 25 at the Majestic Cinema in Sawtell at 6.45pm.

Anyone wishing to attend can phone the Lifeline office on 66514093 to register.

The e-card or a self help booklet can be found at gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au

Family and friends of problem gamblers can phone for confidential appointments. Phone Julie Curnow on 6651 4093.



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