Gambling harm services in New South Wales (NSW) are now available to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) members of the community, as reported by The Mandarin.
Chosen by the state’s Office of Responsible Gambling, the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) will oversee providers of multicultural services for its flagship gambling support program.
The GambleAware program will include support and counselling services, with Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) Director Natalie Wright commenting: “No matter your background, you are able to access appropriate support in the language and setting that best suits you.”
Research commissioned by ORG showed that CALD communities were vulnerable to increased risks of gambling-related harm. While fewer individuals from such communities tended to gamble overall, those who did were more likely to experience gambling-related problems.
The research identified several intersecting reasons as to why this group was particularly vulnerable to gambling harms, including cultural beliefs and luck and change, issues associated with stigma and shame, and lower rates of problem gamblers asking for help.
The WSLHD has 20 years of experience delivering multicultural services through the Transcultural Mental Health Centre, with the district having also previously operated the multicultural problem gambling service across the state.
“Given these vulnerabilities, this partnership is a great opportunity to connect multicultural communities across NSW with vital support services,” said WSLHD Chief Executive Graeme Loy.
The services in NSW include free and confidential counselling to members of the community seeking support.