Many ways to gamble, many ways to get help

With only one in 10 people with gambling problems reaching out for help, a new advertising campaign and website - gamblershelp.com.au - have been launched to promote help services.

With only one in 10 people with gambling problems reaching out for help, a new advertising campaign and website - gamblershelp.com.au - have been launched to promote help services.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, a proud partner of Melbourne Victory, says its new $2.3 million campaign points to a new website, a one-stop shop for gamblers and others affected by problem gambling.

Watch the latest commercial here.

Foundation chief executive officer, Serge Sardo, says just as gambling is changing with new technologies and massive advertising budgets, support services need to adapt including embracing new ways to deliver help.

“Whether it-s phone or face to face counselling, financial counselling, peer support, online or self help tools, there is a kind of help, or combination of help types, that will suit everyone.

“There is also support for the families and friends of gambler-s with problems as well as young people with gambling problems,” he said.

The website and campaign are part of a broader strategy to boost help seeking outlined in a new discussion paper which examines why, with more than a million Victorians affected by gambling, more people don-t seek help.

“The percentage of people who seek formal help for their gambling problems is very low, and those who do have often reached crisis point.

“We want to make getting help easier by increasing awareness and accessibility of the help available and by showing that help works,” he said.

The foundation has also launched a new self-help guide for people who want to work through their gambling problems in their own time. Based on a Canadian model, the new guide is available online or from Gambler-s Help agencies.

It shows many people may not be seeking help because they are in denial or feel ashamed. They may also not be confident about the types of help available or simply don-t know where to get help. “Our campaign seeks to put those fears to bed, help is available and it works,” Mr Sardo said.

The new campaign will also feature a new look and feel for Gambler-s Help with a new bird logo symbolising the hope and positive change that comes when someone decides to get help with their gambling problems.

The campaign will air on all major television networks, radio, online and in gaming venues until the end of June 2014.

Visit www.gamblershelp.com.au for information about the many ways to get help. Immediate help is available 24/7 through Gambler-s Help. Call 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelponline.com.au.

*31,000 Victorian experience problems and another 150 thousand are categorised as at risk (Department of Justice 2009) the lives of each affects a further five to 10 people (Productivity Commission 1999).