Sydney Local Health District’s Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of problem gambling support services in Nepalese communities. Starting on 15th March, the campaign titled “Gambling is easy debt”, will feature on posters, radio and on social media platforms.
“It is vital that people know where to get help and support for gambling related harm, whether they are gamblers, friends or family members of gamblers,” according to Barbara Luisi, Director of the Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub.
The Gambling is easy debt campaign builds on the experiences of international students who have encountered gambling habits that lead to problems. The campaign also raises awareness about Nepali language problem gambling support through the Multicultural Problem Gambling Service.
“For many, gambling is a brand new experience in Australia. We see how greatly problem gambling affects the health and wellbeing of our community especially our young people. We have been saddened by very unfortunate events brought upon by problem gambling,” said founder of the Nepalese Australian News, Rishi Acharya.
National figures show Australians lost more than $24 billion in 2017-18 to gambling. Averaged over 19.75 million adult Australians, this is more than $12,000 per person. Australian gamblers, particularly young people, are also betting more often during COVID-19, possibly due to increased online gambling.
“There is a lot of shame and stigma attached to problem gambling. People become more vulnerable as they try to hide their problem from family or friends until it reached a crisis point. Often, they do not have the necessary support,” says Grace Vu, Project Officer at the Diversity Hub.
If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, free and confidential services are available. A GP referral or a Medicare Card is not needed. Call Multicultural Problem Gambling Service on 1800 856 800 and ask to speak to a professional gambling counsellor in Nepalese.