By Chris Sutton
A new advertising campaign will encourage problem gamblers in Sydney’s east to seek early help.
The state-wide campaign encourages gamblers in East Sydney, particularly Bondi, to address the issue before it becomes too serious.
Sondra Kalnins, the team leader at Inner City Gambling Help on Hope Street, said too many people were waiting before reaching out to professionals. Some people wait up to ten years before asking for assistance that is freely available.
“Many people wrongly feel a sense of shame because they think that gambling is something they should be able to control,” Ms Kalnins said.
Research suggests gambling is viewed more harshly than drug or alcohol related issues in society, increasing the importance of the advertising campaign.
“Gambling is considered a normal part of Australian culture, but people with gambling problems are viewed quite critically by their community,” Ms Kalnins said.
“If you have a mate, a loved one, or a work colleague who is having problems with gambling, get behind them and encourage them to seek help before they hit rock bottom,” said Ms Kalnins.
The campaign promotes receiving help as a sign of strength, highlighting the first step to recovery.
“Seeking help is not admitting weakness – it takes guts, it’s a step of strength. It’s up to everyone in the East Sydney and Bondi areas to reach out to those affected with positive messages and solutions, not negative judgments.”