The idea of talking to someone who gets it – a marketing approach adopted by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation last year to encourage help seeking – is resonating with Victorians who want to change their gambling behaviour.
Foundation CEO Shane Lucas believes that the approach works because it reinforces the benefits of Gambler’s Help services to people thinking about taking the first step to address their own gambling, or to support someone else.
‘We know that making that first help-seeking phone call can be daunting for some people,’ Mr Lucas said, ‘but Gambler’s Help counsellors have empathy and specialised expertise in gambling harm.
‘They won’t judge or criticise – they know that what their clients go through is tough. Rather, Gambler’s Help counsellors help people to change the way they think about gambling.’
The approach has struck a chord.
In one month, the ‘Talk to someone who gets it’ campaign generated 1,149 calls – a 64 per cent increase on normal call levels and the highest number of calls to the helpline within a month for many years.
In addition, the number of Victorians seeking information via the Gambler’s Help website continues to grow, with 682,600 website sessions achieved in 2020–21. Searches for advice on how to support someone experiencing gambling harm remain popular. And people experiencing gambling harm themselves represent the highest proportion of visits to the personal stories web page.
The Foundation will rerun the campaign in 2022.
Talk to someone who gets it. Free and confidential Gambler’s Help services are available 24/7 on 1800 858 858.