LETTER: Start talking about problem gambling

UNDER the themes of “Gambling harm: don’t play it down” and “Talk. Share. Support.” residents of Victoria and the ACT are encouraged to discuss the often hidden and highly stigmatised issue of gambling harm.

Gambling Harm Awareness Week this week provides an opportunity to talk openly about what gambling harm is, how it affects the community, what can be done to prevent it, and how to support those affected by it.

Community conversations are central to raising awareness about the early signs of gambling harm and empowering those affected to seek assistance.

The most obvious form of gambling harm is financial, but people experience harm in a variety of ways that can have a substantial impact on, for example, their self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work performance and social life.

Embarrassment and shame are common responses to gambling harm that can act as a barrier to dealing with it, so it’s critical to ensure that people affected know they are not alone and that a range of supports is available.

Julie Ligeti,

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation board chair

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