We may all be excited by the prospect of COVID-19 restrictions easing and life starting to get back to normal, but with hotels, pubs, and casinos slowing returning to capacity there comes a word of caution for some.
For people with a history of gambling-related issues, the reopening of venues may have been like the flood gates opening when they’d been suppressing strong urges to gamble in traditional ways. Combined with increased income from Centrelink and superannuation access, the situation may already be causing significant distress to individuals and their loved ones. It is worth noting that recent initiatives, like early withdrawal of superannuation funds will also add to long-term financial debt and impact future security.
Difficulty managing overwhelming urges could quickly cause financial distress and result in increased suicidal ideation, depression, and relationship breakdowns. Once fully developed, chronic gambling disorders leave a lifelong vulnerability. Recent times and triggering emotions may have tested even individuals that have felt relatively free of symptoms after seeking treatment.
Now is the time to seek treatment before hotels, pubs, and return to full capacity. Whether reaching out for help for the first time or asking for a few maintenance sessions, PsychMed’s gambling program provides appropriate support for gambling and related disorders or issues with the aim of recovery so barring or avoidance of venues is unnecessary.
As part of our gambling program and harm minimisation, PsychMed also:
- Try to educate gamblers, significant others, community mental health programs, banks, governments superannuation funds, and gaming industries about the risks associated with gambling issues and access to money advances.
- Educate gamblers about the dangers of relapse if they have experienced a gambling-related problem and have not engaged in evidence-based treatment programs to ensure they are no longer or at a reduced risk of relapse once when hotels open.
- Encourage and facilitate access to financial counsellors
- Believe mental health assessments need to screen for gambling problems, domestic violence, depression, and suicidal ideation that will be associated with a return to problematic gambling.
To start your conversation about gambling, call us on 8232 2424.
Find out more about our services at Gambling Help Service
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