Communities can play a significant role in reducing gambling harm and supporting affected community members and their families to recover .
What can communities do?
All communities, no matter how big or small they are in numbers, need to understand the factors that can hinder or promote help seeking. When gambling is denounced by a community’s religion or culture, negative attitudes towards people who gamble and/or develop gambling problems feeds the stigma and feelings of shame that isolate them, prevents them (and their families) from discosing their difficulties and thus often compounds the problems they experience. Going against their religious norms adds to their feelings of guilt. With commitment and collective effort, communities can learn to be non-judgmental and develop empathy for the people affected.
Leaders and influential people have a responsibility to improve the community’s knowledge about gambling and problematic gambling, challenge negative attitudes and cultivate pathays to appropriate help.
When communities collectively bring the conversation about gambling issues into the open and have a good understanding of gambling in Australia, how problems develop, and how services work, it can open doors for people to acknowledge the issue, realize that they are not alone and that there are services available to help.
Communities can build their own human (refer to community ambassadors section within this website) and material resources such as pamphlets or videos in their own community language. This can help people affected by problem gambling to feel a) confident of the support they can expect from their own community and b) encouraged to get assistance as early as possible – before financial difficulties become unmanageable and/or family relationships breakdown.
If you are a concerned member of any of the diverse communities in South Australia and you need support to improve your community’s knowledge, address the myths and negative attitudes or if you want to build resources for the community, please contact PEACE Multicultural Services on 8245 8100.
Read about the impacts of gambling HERE
Read about how together we can make a difference HERE
Find Gambling Help Services HERE
Find Apps and Website Blockers to prevent or minimise gambling harm HERE