For family and friends: looking after yourself

For every person who experiences a gambling problem, up to six others are affected. Families can be impacted by a loved one’s gambling. Gambling can have social, physical and financial impacts on the person who gambles and those around them.

Your focus may be on the person who has a gambling problem, but the distress that you experience can be profound. It’s important that you look after yourself. You deserve attention and support to help you cope with the situation and to be able to support your loved one.

To help yourself, you could try:

  • talking to a family or friend about your situation
  • planning fun activities – such as outings with friends or regular walks, even if you don’t feel like it
  • self-reflection – thinking about your emotions will allow you to manage them better
  • meditation and mindfulness – it can help overcome emotional strain
  • evaluating whether you need to separate your finances – to protect yourself and the person you care about
  • exercising regularly to manage stress
  • seeking free and confidential professional support through Gambling Help.

If you have ever felt threatened or unsafe, or if you are concerned about the welfare of children affected by a parent’s gambling, it’s important that you know that there is support available. Call the domestic violence line on 1800 65 64 63 or Gambling Help on 1800 858 858.

Family and friends are a great place to go for emotional support. They can lend a sympathetic ear and practical support.

Professional guidance also has advantages. Some people find that because they don’t personally know their counsellor it’s easier to be open and honest. Professional counsellors are trained to give you advice based on research and can provide you with practical information on how to help yourself and your loved one.

Call Gambling Help NSW for free and confidential counselling on 1800 858 858 and download ‘Problem Gambling: A Guide for Family and Friends’ which will give you practical advice on how to help yourself and your loved one.