What is Problem Gambling Awareness Month?
Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a time to pay special attention to the issues around problem gambling, and ways to get help for those who are suffering from the effects of problem gambling. Problem gambling affects everyone; from the person who struggles with problem gambling, to their families who wish to help, to their community who pays taxes and other forms of financial assistance to help the person struggling with the mental health issue of problem gambling. Problem gambling is blind to race, ethnicity, age, gender, or any other way we try to categorize people. Gambling can change, from a form of leisure or entertainment to an addiction, at any age and for any person.
The 2016 Problem Gambling Awareness Month mantra is “Continue the Conversation.” It is important to talk about problem gambling to raise awareness, and to take away the stigma of problem gambling, so those suffering from their addiction, or struggling with the effects of a loved one’s addiction, can feel more comfortable getting the help they may need.
Call To Action
We challenge you to start the conversation of problem gambling this month with someone you know. Everyone can help raise awareness. You don’t need to be an addiction professional to participate.
- If you’re on social media, pay attention to the messages around problem gambling awareness and share these messages with your network of friends and family, and follow the conversation at #HaveTheConvo.
- Raising awareness could be a conversation starter, such as, “Hi. I don’t know if you’re aware, but this is problem gambling awareness month. What are you doing to help?” someone you know may have a gambling problem that you’re unaware of. You may be thinking about helping strangers, and you could, accidentally, help someone you love.
You may want to have some things to speak about as you bring up Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Some things to keep in mind would be:
- 60% of people have gambled in the last year.
- People struggling with problem gambling may feel alone.
- Different forms of gambling include visiting casinos or race tracks, or participating in lotteries, scratch offs, and 50/50 raffles.
These points could be great conversation starters and help bring people into the conversation to raise awareness about problem gambling, and how to get help to those in need.
If you’d like to learn more about problem gambling, check out our eBook titled Understanding Problem Gambling. This eBook is free to download and offers a great overview of problem gambling. If you’re looking for more information, or support, please feel free to visit the Find Help page. And, as always, you can call the NYS HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY for support and resources any day, any time.