Making an action plan

Returning to gambling is a common problem for people trying to stop. If you are helping someone close to you recover from problem gambling, it can be useful to have a plan in place to help keep them headed in the right direction.

Your involvement could include:

  • going to meetings with counsellors with them, if they ask and you're available
  • encouraging them to talk openly with you, perhaps discussing the problem once a week, including talking about urges to gamble
  • helping them to set out and stick to a budget, and if this involves controlling their money, making sure you can cope if they try to access their money for gambling
  • talking to others close to you both so you can support each other
  • taking steps to look after yourself – find out how you can help yourself.

You can also find out about:


Things may not go to plan. Lapses can be a normal part of full recovery. It's important to talk about lapses or loss of control, so you can both understand the triggers and work out new tactics to manage them.

Remember there is no one way to recover from a gambling problem. If one approach doesn't seem to be working, you could look at other options. For example, the 100 day challenge has been a helpful option for people who have relapsed.

Find out more about:

Getting help

For more information about getting help if someone close to you has a gambling problem, see:

You can also call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or Gambler's Help Youthline on 1800 262 376 for free, confidential, professional advice and support. These phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you would like to chat live with a counsellor online, visit gambling help online. This service is also available 24/7.Find out more about the

Find out more about the many ways to get help, including help for young people.

Support, advice, counselling

Read more about how we are putting families and friends at the forefront of our thinking in reducing harm caused by problem gambling.

Read the paper (PDF - 630 KB)