An education program to de-stigmatise problem gambling will roll out across the South West Sydney and Hunter Regions, aiming to increase awareness of gambling risks and harms, thanks to a grant from the NSW Government’s Office of Responsible Gambling. 

The Consumer Voices community education program aims to open discussion about potential gambling risks and harms, and help community services organisations identify and respond to problem gambling harm in the community. 

The program will be delivered by the Gambling Impact Society (NSW) Inc. (GIS), in partnership with local Gambling Help services. The one-hour education sessions provide an overview of gambling in Australia and the impacts of gambling on individuals, families and communities to frontline community and welfare services and organisations. 

A core component of the program is the Consumer Voices speaker, who generously shares their personal journey to raise awareness and to help others affected by problem gambling. 

The GIS would like to hear from those who have experienced problems with gambling who may be interested in becoming members of their community education speakers bureau. This includes those who have been impacted directly and affected family members. Free professional training is provided, along with a small payment for sessions and ongoing professional support.   

GIS Executive Officer Kate Roberts said the program will also work with local Gambling Help services to identify potential recruits to the program, train the Consumer Voices speakers and arrange events.

Ms Roberts said, “This is a wonderful program which helps de-stigmatise the impacts of gambling issues and encourages people to reach out for support.”

“Over 3,000 people have attended Consumer Voices presentations in the past and a clear message is how powerful the personal narrative is for increasing community awareness”.

According to the most recent gambling prevalence study in 2012, the number of problem gamblers in NSW was estimated at 0.8 per cent (39,840 people) of adults. A further 2.9 per cent of NSW adults were identified as moderate risk gamblers and 8.4 per cent as low risk gamblers. 

For more information contact Kate Roberts 0401370042 or email info@gisnsw.org

Further information about the program can be viewed at http://gisnsw.org.au/consumer-voice/.

GIS Media Contact: Kate Roberts 0401 370 042