Awareness and prevention
There are several key considerations for health and welfare professionals when identifying and assessing clients who may be experiencing experiencing harm from their gambling.
Both people experiencing gambling-related harm and the others they affect will have a range of related emotional and physical stressors and may consequently be seeing other help services providers.
These clients might not have connected their gambling to these other problems. For example, clients may think they need to gamble as the only possible solution to their financial problems or as the only way of escaping emotional problems.
This means health and welfare workers outside of Gambler's Help services may be the first port of call for people seeking help with problem gambling. By understanding and recognising the symptoms, impacts and dynamics of problem gambling you will be better equipped to offer support.
Some of the common issues people with gambling problems will present to health and help providers with are:
The reluctance of many clients to talk about a gambling problem can be due to a number of factors, including:
Health and social welfare workers outside the Gambler's Help services are often the first port of call for people seeking help with problem gambling. As a health and social welfare professional, you can play a crucial role in:
By understanding and recognising the symptoms, impacts and dynamics of problem gambling you will be better equipped to:
Harm from gambling may be just one factor within a complex array of interpersonal, intrapersonal and health issues experienced by your client.
Typically, harm from gambling does not occur in isolation. It may arise from (and give rise to) a range of other co-presenting and co-morbid issues, including:
The best way to identify someone experiencing harm from gambling or affected other is to ask them about gambling.
This gives permission for the client to talk about gambling in a non-judgmental and professional way.
Triggers you may identify that make you ask about gambling include:
Your client has complained about stress-related health problems, such as: