Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about gambling and engage with the wider community. This year’s RGAW will be held on 22 – 26 May and will focus on the impact of problem gambling on family, friends and significant others.
Research indicates that the action of each problem gambler may affect the lives of between five and ten other people. Approximately 20% of people accessing gambling support services across Australia are family members of people who problem gamble. In 2015-2016, 23% of callers to the SA Gambling Helpline were a family member or friend of a problem gambler. The most common effects are impaired family relationships, emotional problems and financial difficulties.
“When family, friends or significant others are aware of gambling problems, they can play an important part in supporting the gambler to seek help and address their problems,” said Rosemary Hambledon, Practice Manager of Gambling Help Services at Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA). “They can also benefit from services and resources which enable them to protect their own emotional, social and financial wellbeing,”
RASA will be holding a number of events to raise awareness about gambling harm across metro Adelaide and the Riverland region. Events include community film screenings, information sessions, conversation cafés and sports days.
RASA will also be hosting a webinar entitled ‘Supporting Families and Friends Harmed by Gambling’ for services and venue gaming staff on 25 May at 12.30pm. A panel discussion will take place between Enaam Oudih, PEACE Multicultural Services Manager and two Gambling Help Service workers, Monya Gangemi and Anne Smith – both from Relationships Australia SA. The webinar will launch videos resources that will be useful for people working in the sector.
RGAW plays an important role in educating friends, family and significant others about what practical steps can be taken when a loved one is experiencing problem gambling and what support services are available.
For more details about Responsible Gambling Awareness Week or for a full listing of events, visit www.rasa.org.au/rgaw2017
For immediate assistance, visit www.problemgambling.sa.gov.au or call the 24/7 free and confidential hotline on 1800 8585 858