Join the Dots: The connection between mental health and gambling

For many Gambling Help clients, the struggle with gambling can be a symptom of a broader issue: a reaction to a stressful experience in their life, such as grief or loneliness, or a response to an ongoing mental health issue. Sometimes we might not realise the connection until a counsellor helps ‘join the dots’.

Some common triggers for issues with gambling include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Alcohol
  • Trauma

So what is the use in ‘joining the dots’ to look at the big picture, such as factors that might contribute to the urge to gamble? There is good news: all of the common triggers have effective and evidence-based treatments. If you can treat the source of your problem, the symptoms can become much more manageable.

The urge to gamble can be a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario: your mental health issues make you want to gamble, but can also be worsened by gambling as financial and interpersonal pressures are worsened. Ignoring the problem can just make the additional pressures grow. Thankfully, a counsellor can help you intervene to stop the vicious cycle.

If you want to change your gambling but you’re not sure how, a counsellor can help you identify and address contributing issues. Call a free, confidential counsellor on 1800 858 858 and get help to ‘join the dots’, get a good look at the big picture and start treatment today.

Special Announcement: Shared Experience Project

To help raise community awareness of the harm experienced by gambling and de-stigmatise problem gambling and help-seeking behaviour, the Gambling Impact Society (GIS) is currently recruiting people to join a project where they can tell their story in a shared experience project. Participants are given free professional training, and gain skills and support to make presentations to their peers. They become part of a team providing positive role models to the community and to those who may be currently struggling with the effects of problem gambling. Peer educators are paid a small fee and reimbursed travel expenses in recognition of their contribution.

Should you be interested in participating in this project, or if you would like to chat with us first to find out more, please contact: GIS Executive Officer and project coordinator: Kate Roberts – 0401 370 042 or info@gisnsw.org.au. You can find out more about the GIS at www.gisnsw.org.au.

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