March is National Problem Gambling Awareness MonthAccording to the National Council for Problem Gambling, over 5 million people in the US meet the criteria for gambling addiction. Over 1 million Canadians are affected by moderate to severe problem gambling.
Availability of gambling is at an all-time high, with gaming expanding rapidly online and via mobile apps. But understanding and recognition of gambling addiction as a real public health concern has not kept up the pace with this rapid expansion. Gambling can not only result in financial ruin or legal problems, but it can also lead to co-occurring disorders, depression and other mental health issues, and even suicide.
March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Have the Conversation.” NCPG is encouraging that these talks happen among friends, family, and by professionals with their clients. Mental health professionals are urged to screen clients and talk to them about any gambling problems. Friends and family will want to learn the warning signs and talk to their loved ones. NCPG also wants Gambling Operators to take part by offering informational displays and provide training to their staff.
To learn more about problem gambling, check out the infographic below, and visit the National Problem Gambling Month website for more information on how you can participate and offer help to those in need of resources.