Gamble Aware Mid and Northern nsw launches gambling awareness and Community Engagement support

Lifeline North Coast

The NSW Government has appointed Lifeline North Coast as the region’s GambleAware service to provide free gambling counselling and support services to people within the Mid & Northern Coast region of NSW. A key element of this program is to support culturally and linguistically diverse communities to recognise gambling harm and to seek help.

GambleAware Mid Northern NSW uses insights gained from research and extensive consultation with regional gambling counsellors who work with local clients.

“Gambling is an issue for people from all walks of life, however, research shows that people from Aboriginal and migrant backgrounds face different issues and significant barriers in seeking help it can be hard to see the signs that lead to gambling harm and harder to know where to turn for help “says Jason D’Onofrio, Services Manager, GambleAware Mid & Northern NSW.

“When someone is struggling with gambling, they often don’t recognise that it’s an issue. Even when they do, shame and stigma can stop them from getting help. It’s often friends and family who initiate help seeking.” Says Mr D’Onofrio.

Larrissa Bates the newly appointed Community Engagement Coordinator is working with local communities to provide information and consultation on support services available.

Ms Bates says “its common across all cultures, that significant stigma is attached to excessive gambling as a major barrier to help seeking. Our GambleAware Mid and Northern NSW team are working with communities to build hope and encourage people to seek help, reaffirming that seeking help can change their lives.

Resources have been developed to support the gambler as well as their family and friends, recognising the collective nature of many cultures. This dual approach has been designed to break down stigma and foster a supportive environment that encourages help seeking.

“Gambling harm doesn’t just affect the individual; it also impacts their loved ones” says Ms Bates

“This tailored and targeted initiative within our region will help people from diverse backgrounds to recognise when gambling might be a problem and seek help, whether for themselves or for someone they love.

“There is no shame in recognising that you, or someone you love, may be gambling excessively and need help. It shows strength. Free, confidential support is available. The counsellors aren’t there to judge, they’re there to help.”

Information support materials are available at www.gambleaware.nsw.gov.au

If you or someone you love is affected by gambling, call 1800 858 858 for free, confidential help.

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