New South Wales’ The Gambling Impact Society (GIS) has launched a new ‘lived experience project,’ which aims to help support communities by providing responsible gambling initiatives to raise awareness of associated harms.
Funded by the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling, the new initiative will bring first-hand stories from individuals who have experienced such issues, and aims to encourage people across the state to share their experiences.
Natalie Wright, director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, commented: “We hope to build community awareness of the harm that can be experienced by some people from online gambling through this project, and encourage those struggling to seek help.”
The program intends to use real life experiences to act “as a powerful tool in helping people understand the impact problem gambling can have”.
Those involved in sharing their experiences will deliver one hour sessions to participants across the state’s regional centers, with those in attendance including community members, welfare services, community groups, health services and corporate organisations.
The lived experience project is aiming to work towards spreading awareness about problem gambling, whilst also promoting self-help and professional support that’s available to those affected.
In a media release it states that “while helping individuals who may be affected by gambling harm, community and welfare services can also benefit from increased understanding of problem gambling.”
Katie Roberts, executive officer of GIS, added: “It’s common for people at risk of gambling harm to relate easily to others who have experienced what they are going through and overcome their problem.
“Starting a conversation can help de-stigmatise the subject of problem gambling and encourage people who are suffering in silence to reach out for help.”
The new initiative constitutes part of the NSW government’s record AU$25m funding strategy which sets out to help tackle problem gambling harm in communities throughout the region.