Do you know someone in your family or friendship circle whose behavior has a changed? Maybe you think their gambling habit is becoming a problem for them and/or their family.

Gambling Help services offers support, not just for the person with problem gambling, but also for the people around them.

When someone is experiencing gambling harm there are usually at least eight other people around them who are also impacted – such as family, children and friends. If you are someone who is impacted by someone else’s problem gambling you can seek support for yourself to help you manage what is happening to you, as well as get some guidance about how to help them, even if they are not ready.

The following questions and warning signs give an indication of whether or not help is needed:

  • Does someone you care about have a gambling problem?
  • Are they spending more and more time gambling?
  • Are you worried that their gambling is affecting you and/or your family?
  • Are they hiding their gambling?
  • Are they often broke?
  • Do they borrow money to gamble?
  • Are bills going unpaid?
  • Is gambling affecting their work?

Here are some warning signs that there may be a problem with gambling:

  • Money is missing from an account or wallet/purse
  • They regularly lack money for no apparent reason
  • They are secretive about money, financial records or absences
  • There are changes in personality, sleeping, eating and sexual relationship patterns
  • They become withdrawn and preoccupied with unexplained worries
  • They get defensive, reactive, on edge and/or tense
  • They are deceptive and often make excuses
  • They exhibit depression, anxiety or suicidal feelings

If you think someone you care about has a gambling problem, keep in mind:

  • You can’t force your family member or friend to stop
  • You aren’t to blame for their behaviour
  • The gambling is the problem, not the person
  • You can tell someone you trust about what’s happening – this is not betraying your family member or friend
  • You have the right to feel safe and emotionally and financially secure

Support is available to help you help the person you care about. It might not be easy, but it is possible.

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