While no one can make gamblers stop gambling, you can support them by:
Ask the person about his or her gambling. If you think there might be a problem, the direct approach is best. Consider how you might be willing to support or assist if the person is having a problem. Tell them you care about them.
If you think there is a problem with gambling, tell them what you have observed. Then ask for their feedback on your observations. Try to avoid arguments, and don’t blame the person. These approaches may cause defensive behaviour in the gambler.
Use a positive approach so the person feels your concern and understands that there are some ways that you would consider helping.
It’s tough for family members and friends to watch a problem gambler run into financial problems. But the question is, should money be loaned or given in these circumstances?
The experts say “no.” This may sound uncaring, but it’s really the only thing you can do so that the gambler will experience the consequences of his or her gambling. If problem gamblers are bailed out, they don’t have to face the financial problems and can continue to gamble, adding to future problems.
However, you can still make it clear that you will stand by the gambler and be there to support him or her.
You will be better able to help both yourself and the problem gambler if you gather as much information as possible about the problem.
Becoming more knowledgeable will also help you to prepare for future issues, enabling you to minimise the impact that problem gambling may have on you and your family.
Problem gamblers often need encouragement to obtain professional help or support, and they may not be able to control the problem without this help.
You can talk to the person about this, and provide contact information for counselling and support services.
Whānau/Family and friends of problem gamblers often harbour feelings of guilt, shame and helplessness. As well, there may be feelings of frustration and anger caused by the impact of the gambling. People affected by problem gambling may not know where to turn or who to talk to for assistance, so isolation may occur.
There are several things you can do to lessen the impact of the problem gambling on yourself and your family:
Friends and whānau/family often feel isolated and are afraid of being judged by the gamblers behaviour or blame themselves for not doing something to stop the gambling earlier. You are not personally responsible for ‘fixing’ the person’s gambling problems, nor did you cause them. Getting help and support for yourself is important; talking with a friend, someone in your whānau/family or a counsellor can bring a different perspective and help you problem solve. Counsellors are knowledgeable about the nature of the gambling problems and are bound by rules around confidentiality. All our counselling is free for whānau or friends affected by gambling harm.
If you are not sure, here are some signs of gambling harm Signs of Gambling Harm
If you wish to register for counselling Family/Friends registration then a counsellor will be in contact with you within one working day.