This week is Problem Gambling Prevention Week in Kingston, Gananoque, and Napanee
Toronto – People who experience mixed feelings about gambling, such as guilt, anxiety or frustration, are encouraged to know the signs and recognize they are important warning signals.
According to the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), these feelings are there for a reason. Ignoring them can only make a situation worse – impacting not just the person but also family and friends. That’s why it is important to pay attention to how gambling makes you feel – before it becomes a problem.
RGC research shows that approximately 3.4% of Ontarians have a moderate to severe gambling problem.
Free and confidential resources are available. Many agencies also provide help for family members and friends of the gambler. Call ConnexOntarioat 1-866-531-2600 or in your community:
Kingston: Addiction and Mental Health Services – KFLA – 613.544.1189 or 613.544.1192
Napanee: Addiction and Mental Health Services – KFLA – 613.354.7521 or 24-hour crisis line: 613.354.7388 or 1.800.267.7877
“Many people think it’s just a matter of time until they’ll hit the jackpot,” says Shelley White, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council. “The truth is that some people gamble to the point that they damage their finances, relationships and health. Problem gambling can be financially and emotionally devastating for the individual involved and the most important people in their lives.”
During Problem Gambling Prevention Week, RGC is urging people to know the signs and listen carefully to how they feel about their gambling. The educational campaign includes tips on how people can take direct action to protect themselves and get free, confidential help.
Warning signs include:
- Feeling guilty, anxious, frustrated or worried about your gambling
- Thinking or talking more than usual about gambling
- Gambling more to win back losses
- Experiencing extreme highs from gambling wins and extreme lows from gambling losses
- Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities
The good news is that paying attention to how you feel about your gambling is the first step to early detection of a potential gambling problem.
For more about the emotional and behavioural signs to watch for and how to protect yourself, go to www.knowthesigns.ca
Problem Gambling Resources
Kingston, Gananoque, and Napanee area residents can access local help at:
- Kingston: Addiction and Mental Health Services – KFLA – 613.544.1189 or 613.544.1192
- Napanee: Addiction and Mental Health Services – KFLA – 613.354.7521 or 24-hour crisis line: 613.354.7388 or 1.800.267.7877
- ConnexOntario at 1.866.531.2600
About the RGC
The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention. RGC works to reduce gambling risks by creating and delivering innovative awareness and information programs. It also promotes the adoption of improved play safeguards through best practices research, standards development and the RG Check accreditation program. RCG is committed to bringing together all perspectives in the reduction of gambling problems, including those of people with firsthand experience with gambling problems, gaming providers, regulators, policy makers and treatment professionals.