Last financial year, 28.2 per cent of Meli’s clients accessing Gambler’s Help services were under the age of 34, with 8.2 per cent of our clients accessing Gambler’s Help services under the age of 24.
This is why Meli is reaching out to young people to start a conversation about the impact of gambling.
Meli’s Gambler’s Help program will host a pop-up stall at the Surf Coast Shire’s Youth Space during Gambling Harm Awareness Week (16-22 October), where there will be the opportunity to chat to therapeutic and financial counsellors about gambling and the available support services.
Gambling Harm Awareness Week is a chance to talk about the harms associated with gambling and the effects they can have on communities, families, friends, workplaces and individuals.
It is also a week to focus on stories of recovery, to offer hope and optimism to those affected by gambling harm.
This year’s theme is Talk.Share.Support. which is all about having open conversations about gambling harm and highlight the benefits of speaking up.
“It’s important to have conversations about gambling, and how it can affect people,” Meli Manager Access and Family Safety Betti Chapelle said.
“Gambling harm can affect self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work performance and social life.
“Having open discussions with our friends, family and community helps reduce stigma, which can be a barrier to seeking help.”
Meli provides free and confidential counselling to address how gambling impacts health, relationships and finances.
The organisation also helps people learn how to control and reduce their gambling.
Family and friends who are impacted by somebody else’s gambling can also use Meli’s counselling services.
“Gambling harm doesn’t discriminate, people of all ages or gender can experience harm,” Ms Chapelle said.
“If you or someone you know is struggling due to gambling, please reach out to Meli for support.”
Meli will be at the Surf Coast Shire Youth Space on Monday, 16 October from 3pm-4:30pm at 12 Merrijig Drive, Torquay.
If gambling harm affects you or someone you know, call Meli on (03) 5278 8122 or call Gambler’s Help (24/7) on 1800 858 858.
Pictured: Meli’s Gambler’s Help team; Team Leader Financial Counselling and Wellbeing Charu Thukral, Financial Counsellor Shanah McMahon and Team Leader Health Promotion & Prevention and Directions Anabel Mackenzie