A new podcast exploring the depths of gambling-related harm through the eyes of people who have recovered was launched at Banyule Community Health in West Heidelberg today.
The Not a Dollar More podcast aims to reduce gambling harm in the community by discussing issues from a lived experience perspective, including when gambling can become harmful, as well as inspiring stories of hope and recovery.
“There were late, lonely nights at the pub betting until I was broke, wondering how I would get to work the next day. I didn’t even have enough money to fill my car up,” said creator, co-producer and presenter of Not a Dollar More, Shayne Rodgers, who quit gambling in 2012.
“I hope the podcast will inspire others in similar circumstances to realise that change is possible.”
Beyond those currently experiencing gambling harm, Mr Rodgers said the podcast would be of interest to people affected by someone else’s gambling.
According to Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation research, about 550,000 Victorians experience some form of harm from gambling each year. And for every person who experiences severe harm, up to six others will be affected, particularly friends and family members.
Mr Rodgers worked with the Peer Connection Team at Banyule Community Health, in partnership with the Foundation, to produce the podcast, which Banyule CEO Mick Geary said was a welcome addition to the variety of support options available.
“Shayne Rodgers tells the stories that our community needs to hear through unassuming, yet powerful interviews with ordinary people whose lives have been affected by gambling harm,” Mr Geary said.
“The nature of podcasting means these stories have the potential to be heard far and wide, in private and for as long as they are helpful to the listener, which may appeal especially to those not ready to seek professional support or who wish to maintain their anonymity.”
Foundation interim CEO Janet Dore said elevating the voices of people with lived experience of gambling harm helped to reduce the stigma associated with it and to reassure those struggling with their gambling that there is hope for recovery.
“The Foundation recently established a Lived Experience Advisory Committee, of which Mr Rodgers is a valued member, to inform and guide the work we do to prevent and reduce gambling harm.
“The insights he and other members are providing as people who have ‘been there’, who understand the issues and challenges, cannot be underestimated,” Ms Dore said.
Nine episodes of the podcast are now available at www.notadollarmore.org.au, including discussions on pokies, relapses, triggers and urges, and how to get help.