Thirty-two per cent of Victorian residents who experience side effects such as stress from gambling speak a language other than English at home.
Compelled by this research and a 2018 survey finding that 48 per cent of Victorians are not aware that gambling can lead to negative emotional side effects, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has translated the Think… is that true for you? campaign into a range of languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese.
“People often ignore the early signs that gambling is having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing,” Foundation chief executive Shane Lucas said today.
“Signs that are commonly ignored include stress, regret, anxiety, impatience, guilt, anger, annoyance or simply feeling down for no apparent reason.
“These feelings can build up and have a compounding effect if we don’t pay attention to them. They may also be accompanied by, or lead to, physical symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, tiredness, feeling generally unwell, or drinking/smoking more than usual.”
The Think… is that true for you? campaign encourages people to take a moment to consider whether the stress they feel is linked to their gambling, because regardless of how often a person gambles or the amount of money they spend, there can be negative consequences.
“While people from culturally and linguistically diverse [CALD] backgrounds are less likely to gamble than the general population, those who do are more likely to experience harm.
“This may be for a range of reasons, including a lack of awareness of the risks, social isolation, limited access to culturally appropriate activities, particularly during the evening, or higher exposure to gambling opportunities in Australia than in some other countries.
“People in these communities are also less likely to seek assistance from professional support services, which makes prevention even more important. Fortunately, for many, relief can be as simple as a few minor behavioural adjustments,” Mr Lucas said.
To ensure its relevance, the campaign was translated following consultations with CALD Gambler’s Help agencies, including the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health bilingual health educators.
The rationale for each language selected for translation included one or more of the following: it is among the top 10 languages other than English spoken at home in Victoria (2016 Census); it is among the top five languages other than English spoken by people in Victoria who experience gambling harm; in-language support services are available.
The campaign is currently running across various media. Information is also available in language at effectsofgambling.com.au.