Part 4: Jessica’s story: surviving the gambling experience


A lack of knowledge and understanding by migrants about help- services within the Australian can be a significant barrier to seeking help and the function and purpose of western counselling is a considerable barrier for migrants to seek help (Feldman, S. et al 2014).

Jessica talks about what worked for her and what she recommends for other young people experiencing the same thing,

Definitely seek help, not just for the person with the problem, but also for yourself and other family members.  And don’t feel ashamed about it. Gambling is just like any other mental illness. Focus on what you can control. Sometimes you can’t spend all your time trying to help that person. When they want to change, they will change.


Jessica described the mechanisms that helped her to help you get through the experience of having a loved one suffer from gambling problems:

Just focusing on the things that I could control. I threw myself into school, and working part time. I found that if I was busy working, I felt a certain sense of control over my life. I wasn’t thinking about what my Dad was doing, or about the growing debt.

If you feel unhappy in the home environment it’s a good idea to spend more time outside, such as at the local library or community centres. At my library we had free study support. You could create study groups with other students.  There are also community centres where teens who have these kind of issues can go and join in free activities and sports.

Jessica values her family and focus on the importance of financial support:

It’s changed me in the sense that I value family and relationships much more, and it’s made me much more determined to be able to support myself financially in the future.

For help with your gambling problems, please contact:

Multicultural Problem Gambling Program for Chinese Communities

1800 856 800 or 9912 3851, Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm

Northern Sydney Local Health District Multicultural Gambling Service – Chinese

02 9477 9567, 8.30am – 5pm

Gambling Helpline

1800 858 858, 24 hours, 7 days a week


Feldman, S., Radermacher, R., Anderson, C. & Dickins, M. (2014). A qualitative investigation of the experiences, attitudes and beliefs about gambling in the Chinese and Tamil communities in Victoria, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. February 2014

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