Posted on 26 May 2016
Living with a gambling addiction can be a nightmare – mounting debts, lost friends, employment problems. But those who pay the highest price are frequently the partners, family and friends of problem gamblers.
As well as suffering financial loss, they can also experience loss of trust and feelings of betrayal as well as relationship breakdown.
Through Gambling Help and its partners, including CatholicCare Social Services in the Diocese of Parramatta, free counselling and new resources are available to assist people impacted by problem gambling.
CatholicCare counsellor Linda Davis said one of the biggest challenges can be raising the issue. “It can be a very awkward thing to do. People are often afraid that mentioning someone’s gambling problem may damage their relationship with that person.”
During Responsible Gambling Awareness Week from 23-27 May, CatholicCare is helping to launch two major resources – a catchy, animated e-card campaign, Talkward, and a booklet aimed at helping family and friends who have been impacted.
Talkward is designed to help break through the stigma and encourage open dialogue between gamblers and their families and friends.
The e-cards, which can be customised and personalised, humorously focus on a thorny subject but carry a serious message: now we’ve got the awkward bit out of the way, let’s have a talk in real life.
To access the e-card, click here
To order a free copy of the booklet click here
CatholicCare Problem Gambling Counselling and Groups
Our client John* contacted CatholicCare after his son approached him and suggested he had a problem with gambling. John called Gambling Help and they directed him to CatholicCare. After three or four sessions, John had reduced his gambling significantly.
His message to anybody who may identify as a problem gambler is: “Contact Gambling Help or CatholicCare Social Services for counselling. Staff are welcoming and counselling is provided in a stress-free environment, without judgement.”
John said he is better able to give his attention and focus to enjoying his family. He is planning to get a second job and has money in the bank for the first time in a long time. His wife and son are very happy as he comes straight home after work and is spending more time gardening and enjoying his life.
* Not his real name.
For more information about CatholicCare’s free Responsible Gambling Counselling Service tel (02) 8822 2222.
Your donations to this month’s Diocesan Works Fund Appeal with the theme Faith at Work will help to fund CatholicCare’s programs and services in the Diocese of Parramatta. To make an online donation visit Faith at Work.