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Let’s talk gambling

For advice on gambling issues that many people experience – Let’s talk gambling.

Our blog features articles from experts and real experiences from people who have overcome gambling harm.

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Manage gambling urges using this simple trick

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the urge to gamble? In those intense moments, it's essential to have a practical tool to help you stay on track and manage that distress.

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What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and how can it help you with your gambling?

In this article, we delve into explaining what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is and how it can assist you in dealing with your gambling struggles.

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Intrusive gambling thoughts and how to manage them

If you’re experiencing intrusive thoughts about gambling, here are some strategies to help you manage these thoughts more effectively.

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Five reasons to try quitting gambling again

What happens if you find it hard to stick with quitting, and go back to gambling? This article details five reasons why you should try again.

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How to manage pay day gambling urges

When struggling with gambling, payday can be difficult. Here are a few strategies that might help to make payday easier to manage.

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5 steps to staying gamble-free

Learn about some strategies to help you stay committed to your recovery, regardless of what challenges you may face.

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The 5 stages of behaviour change

The 5-stage model of behaviour change was developed to better understand how people make the choice to change certain actions. It can be applied when trying to change all sorts of behaviours, including changing one’s relationship with gambling.

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Gambling among women: A hidden issue

Women who have online gambling accounts tend to play more often, for longer, in isolation, and spend more money in total than men.

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The ‘gambling getaway’: An illusion of escape

Gambling can be a way to escape from day-to-day stressors. But, the problems are often still there when we return from our 'getaway’.

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How to regulate your emotions in 4 easy steps

Emotions drive behaviour. In the context of gambling, acting on some of these emotions can be harmful, and cause lapses on the road to recovery.

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Breaking the link between depression and gambling

Research has shown for some time that depression and gambling addiction are linked. This connection is so strong that research has found evidence to suggest that depression is amongst several factors that can lead to gambling addiction.

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Reacting to the recent: mental biases in gambling

It's very common for people to make thinking errors when gambling, and there are many different types of thinking errors that impact decision-making in gambling.

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How to deal with guilt and shame from gambling

When we make mistakes, it’s normal to experience guilt as it drives us to make amends with others and encourages us to make healthier choices moving forward.

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What triggers the urge to gamble?

Do you find that some days are harder to get through compared to others? That some days the urge to gamble might be stronger than others?

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How to support a family member who is struggling with gambling

If you have a family member experiencing difficulties with gambling, you are in a unique position to provide assistance, support and help start recovery.

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7 ways gambling can harm you — and what to do about it

If you are thinking about your gambling and gambling behaviours, an important question to ask yourself is, what is gambling costing me in my life?

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Chasing losses: The goal post that keeps moving

Most of us have had trouble cutting our losses at some point in our lives. We tend to worsen the result for ourselves when we don’t cut our losses at a good time.

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Spotlight on self-exclusion

If you’ve been struggling to manage your gambling, then self-exclusion may be a useful option for you to consider.

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Values: What are they, and why do they matter?

What exactly are values, and why are they important in the context of gambling?

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Embracing mindfulness

Mindfulness is a term you might have heard a bit of recently, but what is it?

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Seeing what we want to see – thinking errors in gambling

In this article, we’ll talk about another common thinking error known as ‘Confirmation Bias’.

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Communication is key – how to have the tough conversations

Like most things in life, struggling with gambling can be made more manageable with the support of friends and family.

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What to expect when seeing a counsellor

If you’ve been contemplating going to see a counsellor to get help for your gambling, then this article is for you. The process of going to see a counsellor can be quite daunting, so let’s talk about what therapy involves and how it can help.

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Gambling and alcohol - A risky combination

Have you ever noticed that your gambling gets out of control when you drink? Or perhaps the reverse - that you drink more when you gamble?

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The science of addiction

University of Melbourne neuroscientist Dr Jared Cooney Horvath recently talked to us about what happens in our brain when addiction occurs, and how to overcome it.

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The brain’s cue and reward system

The brain’s cue and reward system

University of Melbourne neuroscientist Dr Jared Cooney Horvath recently talked to us about what happens in our brain when addiction occurs, and how to overcome it.

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Weighing up the risk - When your loved ones stop supporting you

It is essential to consider how your gambling could be affecting your partner or family as ignoring these consequences can lead to greater problems within your relationships.

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Sports betting – can we have one without the other?

In Australia, sports and gambling have become such a synonymous pairing that it has become difficult to imagine one without the other. So how can we experience the joys of our favourite sports whilst being mindful of gambling?

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Strong Brother, Strong Sister, strong futures

Strong Brother, Strong Sister is a First Nations owned, operated and youth-led service for First Nations young people. Its culturally-safe prevention and early intervention approach focuses on living physically and mentally healthy lives, connected to culture and country.

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​​“Due for a win”: Thinking errors in gambling

It's extremely common for people to make thinking errors when gambling. This is partly because gambling involves probability, and our brains don’t always recognise how complex probability is.

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Urge surfing – Tips on how to manage the urge to gamble

Often, despite all the hard work we’ve put in, we continue to get urges to gamble. The good news is, these urges can be tolerated without having to act on them!

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You’ve had a bust - now what?

Having a gambling bust is often very disappointing, especially when you’ve been working hard to change your relationship with gambling, and embrace more positive behaviours.

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Getting through the festive season

The holidays can bring about mixed emotions for many people including stress, boredom and loneliness. Here are some helpful suggestions for how to manage gambling urges over the break.

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Gambling and the malleable brain

A gambling win activates the brain's pleasure centre. However, when you gamble often, this feeling decreases and you have to gamble more as you chase the same pleasure that once came so easily. But this urge to gamble more can be reversed as explained by neuroplasticity.

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Gambling dreams

Have you ever had a dream (or nightmare) that you were gambling? Or that you wanted to gamble? Or perhaps people around you were gambling, or you were in a familiar venue like a TAB or casino? A dream that felt so real, you woke up and had to check whether or not it happened? If so, you’re not alone.

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Do-it-yourself tools to fight the gambling urge

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Re-making meaning: social connection after gambling harm

Gabriele Byrne drew on her lived experience of playing the pokies to establish social groups supporting those seeking help to quit.

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Gambling blocks on credit and debit cards

Customers of Australian banks have the option to block gambling transactions on their credit and debit accounts. A gambling block on a credit or debit account means the account cannot be used to pay for gambling products or activities.

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Prisoners of shame no more

Profound shame about their gambling and its impact on their family’s reputation is stopping many gamblers in the Australian-Vietnamese community from seeking help - and leading some to jail.

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Why online gambling can be risky

Understand the hidden risks of online gambling

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An insight into Gambling Minds

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Rebecca Hope considers the particular vulnerability of people struggling with gambling harm, mental illness and addiction during COVID-19-related restrictions.

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The long tail of emergency response

People fleeing the 2019-20 bushfires needed food and shelter but also financial support. Mike Kirkness from Latrobe Community Health Service was one of the financial counsellors on the frontline.

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Telehealth in the spotlight

A survey of Gambler’s Help counsellors captures the challenges and successes of the rapid move to telehealth counselling during the early days of COVID-19.

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Connecting with customers is Number One

While venues have closed on and off through the COVID-19 pandemic, venue workers still need to update their qualifications and that’s kept Venue Support Worker Di Grimble very busy.

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Managing urges

Learning to tolerate feeling uncomfortable during an urge is important to maintain change.

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Gambling counsellor, Jodi Clarke

Gambling counsellor Jodi Clarke talks about helping people with gambling problems and their families to work through the issues and recover.

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Self-care: combat stress and resist old habits

Practising self-care during periods of stress or boredom – when you may otherwise slip into old habits, like gambling – can help to reduce anxiety, improve your...

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Bright minds, bright ideas: young Aboriginal people get the facts on gambling harm

A new program is getting young Aboriginal people talking about gambling so they can approach it with a balanced view as they get older.

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Supporting communities to know the risks

After leaving your homeland in traumatic circumstances, the stresses of settling in a new country can be acute. Gambling may seem a way to fit in and offer escape from grief. The Serbian Community Association of Australia is helping people understand the risks.

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Staying positive each day

One of the best and simplest ways to feel positive each day is to think about what you’re grateful for. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly associated...

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Gambler’s Help financial counsellor, Chantelle McGuinness

Gambler’s Help financial counsellor Chantelle McGuinness talks about her rewarding job helping Aboriginal people work their way out of financial hardship caused by gambling.

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How to change a gambling habit

Changing a habit involves recognising the feelings that lead to a specific action, like gambling, and then retraining your brain to respond differently to those feelings.

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Chinese New Year brings a fresh start

Luck plays big part in Chinese culture, especially at Chinese New Year, when revellers gamble to ensure a lucky year ahead rather than to win money. We talk to two organisations working to help Victoria’s Chinese communities avoid gambling harm in the Year of the Pig.

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Making changes: snapshots from a regional Gambler’s Help service

A day in the life of the Gambler’s Help team in Geelong is a day of compassion, advocacy and enthusiasm as they support local community members to avoid, or recover from, gambling harm.

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Cultural nuance is key to preventing gambling harm

PRONIA, the Australian Greek Welfare Society, was one of 12 organisations funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in 2018 to run gambling harm prevention projects in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

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Complex treatment at the crossroads

The Alfred Mental Health and Gambling Harm Program’s clinical assessment team collaborates with services such as Gambler’s Help, offering short-term treatment and assessment of clients struggling with mental health and gambling harm co-morbidity.

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Coming up for air through counselling partnership

A financial and a therapeutic counsellor work in tandem with clients to help them manage their stress while freeing them from the financial quicksand gambling has trapped them in.

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On stigma and how we can tackle it

To launch Gambling Harm Awareness Week 2019, a panel of experts in mental illness, alcohol consumption and gambling harm discussed the challenges of stigma in their fields and effective ways to break it down.

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VCAL lessons for life

When Noah Grech’s VCAL studies reflected what personal experience had taught him, he became so motivated that he believes he’s identified his career direction.

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Lifting the lid on gaming

The popularity of gambling-like products in computer games played by many Australian children comes under the spotlight in new videos released this week.

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Gambler’s Help financial counsellor, Pam Mutton

Gambler’s Help financial counsellor Pam Mutton gets immense satisfaction from helping people with gambling problems pay back their debts and manage their money to stay debt-free from gambling.

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Community educator, David Clark

Community educator David Clark from Incolink talks about the sessions he runs with young apprentices in a program funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to prevent gambling harm in the construction industry.

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Shelter from the storm

By staying open late and offering interesting activities in a warm, safe and welcoming environment, a group of libraries in Melbourne’s north is seeking to turn a common tale of gambling harm on its head.

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Helping young gamblers help themselves

Young men are particularly susceptible to gambling harm. With 95 per cent of building and construction workers being male, industry body Incolink is in a prime position to help young apprentices understand the risks.

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When substance misuse and gambling problems converge

Drug and alcohol treatment services organisation Odyssey House has developed training and resources for help sector workers to use when their clients also have gambling issues.

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‘What difference is another $20,000?’ Recognising financial harm

Keeping track of our spending is something many of us don’t do well. But when gambling is also in the mix, financial harm can fly under the radar. Gambler’s Help clients and counsellors say recognising it early can prevent bigger problems developing.

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Five minutes with Arabic counsellor, Hoda Nahal

While there is no word for counselling in Arabic, Hoda Nahal is helping people from her community open up about gambling problems and recover from what often starts as a taste of ‘Australian culture’.

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Counselling - What's Involved?

Considering getting help for your gambling but not sure what's involved? Gambler's Help counsellor Jake dispels some common fears and explains what to expect in counselling.

There is hope for recovery for people who gamble

In this video, therapeutic counsellor, Cherry Louey dispels some common fears and explains what really happens when you receive counselling through Gambler’s Help.