Support for anyone affected by problem gambling

Posted on: Tuesday, 21 May 2013

An extra avenue of support is now available for anyone affected by problem gambling, thanks to a Turning Point-operated national online community forum.

The Gambling Help Online Community Forum is a space for anyone affected by problem gambling to connect with others.

Gambling Services Co-ordinator Jay Jaggard said the forum provided an opportunity for people to discuss their own or someone else‟s gambling concerns, as well as strategies for managing their gambling and recovery.

“The forum allows people to share their stories, setbacks and strategies for change, access information, discuss hot topics and see the latest in gambling research,” Ms Jaggard said.

Facilitated by Turning Point‟s counselling team, the online forums are free to join and participate in.

The forum has around 250 registered users since launching late last year. It is a non-threatening peer-moderated community, designed to assist people on their road to recovery. It is also linked to the new "Fight for you - 100 Day Challenge‟ campaign delivered by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. This campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with problem gambling and promote the range of free and confidential help services available, including the online community forum.

Ms Jaggard said the forum would provide an additional way for people to receive support, alongside Turning Point‟s established phone and online counselling services.

“The forum is about providing people with an opportunity to tell their story, but also to provide support to others,” Ms Jaggard said.

“Whether you have experienced concerns about gambling or know someone who has problems, we want to hear from you.”

With Responsible Gambling Awareness Week starting on May 20, Ms Jaggard said now was the ideal time for people needing assistance to visit the forum.

“Led by our team of facilitators, the forum will also host discussions on strategies for change, recovery and personal insights,” she said. “It‟s an ideal way to let us know how gambling has impacted on you and your loved ones, and you can contribute anonymously.”

She encouraged people to visit the gamblinghelponline website, whether they gambled a little or a lot, were trying to cut back, or had been successful in overcoming a gambling issue, to talk to other people about their experiences.

Gambling Help Online is a national program, co-funded by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments.

For immediate assistance, call the Gambler‟s Help line on 1800 858 858, or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au