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Support and resources
While gambling is a fun source of entertainment for many, not everyone can gamble in a safe, responsible way. For some, gambling can become a problem. Whether you have a gambling problem or know someone who needs help, resources are available .
Knowing what to look for
If you’re wondering if someone you know and love might have a problem, here are some signs that may indicate they have a problem. The more signs a person shows, the greater the likelihood that he or she may have lost control of their gambling.
- Gambling for longer and longer periods of time
- Lying about how much or how often they gamble
- Missing work or school to gamble
- Neglecting personal or family responsibilities to gamble
- Using gambling as an escape
- Gambling with money needed for paying bills
- Spending more money to recoup losses
If you suspect someone is experiencing a problem with gambling, it’s natural to want to help. However, it’s up to the individual to seek help if and when they’re ready. What you can do is offer support by following the tips below:
- Learn about available resources before approaching the person.
- Help the individual face the problem as soon as possible. It may seem easier to make excuses or ignore the problem in the short-term, but it just allows it to grow and potentially become a bigger problem.
- Try to communicate without being judgmental. Offering emotional support can lead the person to seek the help they need.
- Do not loan the person money. It’s best not to support or enable their behaviour. Make sure you don’t encourage them to borrow from other sources.
Prepare examples of how the person’s gambling has had a negative impact on you and others
Communicate using “I” messages. For example, “When you do this, I feel…”
Offer resources if the person is open to getting help.
ADDICTIONS FOUNDATION OF MANITOBA
The AFM provides addictions education, prevention and treatment services in Manitoba
GamTalk is an online resource that helps people dealing with gambling problems in a variety of ways. It offers live chatting with other members of the community, a forum to present questions and respond to others, and stories about recovering from gambling problems.
COMMUNITY FINANCIAL COUNSELLING SERVICES
Community Financial Counselling Services provides free debt solutions counselling.
PROBLEM GAMBLING HELP LINE – 1-800-463-1554
The Helpline and counselling services are offered free-of-charge by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.
GetGamblingFacts.ca offers practical information to help you make informed decisions if you gamble.
Gamblers Anonymous is an organization dedicated to helping those struggling with gambling addiction. They host meetings in which individuals can share their experiences and support one other in their desire to stop gambling. Find out more at https://makeconnections.ca/directory-listing/gamblers-anonymous/
Gam-Anon is a 12 step self-help fellowship comprised of men and women who have been affected by the gambling problem of another. This free service is not affiliated with a religious organization or counselling agency.