Awareness and prevention
Angie Soumila has a job she loves. She's a Youthline counsellor who helps young people with gambling problems get their lives back.
"I provide telephone and online support, counselling and referral for people with gambling problems, as well as for people who are affected by someone else's gambling," says Angie.
When you reach out to Youthline, a counsellor will ask what has motivated the contact and ask what you want to get out of the call or email.
Angie says, "Young people often call to find out if what they are doing is normal, about the effect gambling has on their mood including depression and anxiety and children call about a parent's gambling – usually worrying about money."
"Young people often call about the effect gambling has on their mood including depression and anxiety"
If you call because you think you may have a problem, we ask what kind of betting you do, how long you've been doing it, and how it's affecting your life.
"I ask if you have difficulty keeping up with schoolwork, are they missing out on classes or are socially withdrawn from friends," says Angie.
Depending on your answers, we talk about what help is available. This may be getting tips on how to help yourself every day, chatting with someone online or talking to someone face to face. We can organise for someone to call you to make an appointment with a counsellor, either online or face to face.
Angie says, "It's important to give hope and let young people know help is out there. With gambling it's often developing awareness of the risks, and distraction techniques."
"It's important to give hope and let young people know help is out there".
If you call because you're worried about someone else, we ask similar questions about how long it's been happening and how it's affecting your life. We also ask if you've spoken about it with someone you trust, and if you're getting support from them.
We provide you with options to help you deal with the issue so it doesn't affect you as much, and which will also help the person with the gambling problem.
Call 1800 262 376 for advice and support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's anonymous, confidential and free.
Or chat online with a counsellor at Gambling Help Online. This service is also available 24/7.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service.