At risk gamblers have little awareness of where to get gambling help

There is a low overall awareness of gambling help services by at risk gamblers, including Indigenous and CALD gamblers a new GRA report reveals.

Gamblers at Risk and Their Help Seeking Behaviour  - link to report at bottom of this story - (31 January 2012), undertaken by the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University, also found that the stigma and shame felt by people with a gambling problem, along with the secrecy surrounding the problem, creates a barrier for seeking either professional or non-professional help.

The study set out to examine, identify and analyse gambler’s formal and informal help seeking behaviour. 

Of the four gambler risk categories (as determined by the Problem Gambling Severity Index), problem gamblers were the least willing to use non-professional help from partners, other family members or friends. However, problem gamblers were most aware of the professional services available in their region for gambling help, with the exception of face-to-face counselling services.

For those who did seek professional help, the main motivators were serious financial, emotional and relationship issues. 

Interviews with recovered problem gamblers revealed that help-seeking generally seemed to be a circular activity beginning and ending with self-help behaviour. There was also a strong preference for self-help as the first type of help to be used if respondents became concerned about their gambling.

The full report can be found here.