Have you heard about our SMS support program?

6 Feb 17
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Lots of people are joining free service and enjoying the daily support.

Each SMS is a micro intervention that aims to give you strategies to help you with the process of change. 

Lot’s of people have already signed up and have been telling us that they find them helpful.

“Having a message sent to me every day every feels personal I really like it and look forward to it every morning. I don’t feel so alone!!” said one anonymous subscriber.

What will the messages be like?

Each message is crafted to be a small motivating sentence sent to your mobile each day to help provide you with a little extra support. The messages are written by people who understand how hard it can be struggling with a gambling addiction every day. 

How does it work?

SMS SubscriptionYou can easily sign up for the messages here all you need to do is select which program you would like to sign up to and whether you would prefer to receive them in the morning or afternoon.

From here you will start receiving messages from the next scheduled time for that program. They come from an automated system which is completely confidential. 

If you aren’t finding it helpful, or would like to sign up to a different program, you can easily opt out at any time here 

Each program runs on a cycle of 28 days at the end of the 28 days you will start to see repeating messages, at this point it may be a good idea to change to a different program. If you subscribe to more than one program at a time you will receive multiple messages each day. 

We are developing different themed messages and special messages to help you when we know it may be difficult. For example, over the festive season we sent people lots of supportive messages so they did not feel alone.

We will be launching new programs soon including Maintaining Change and Urge Surfing. Why not sign up here today.

Money tips for the holiday season

20 Dec 16
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We often hear from clients that the most stressful part of Christmas is how to manage their money during this potentially expensive time of year. However there are some ways that you can look after yourself, so that you don’t get caught up in the spending cycle during the holidays.

Christmas Bag

Being prepared and limiting your access to money may help you keep control of any temptation to gamble and reduces the likelihood of gambling at the spur of the moment.

Try and follow some of these simple tricks to keep you on track these holidays:

  • Track Your spending by creating a budget and revisit it often, to make sure you’re spending within your means over the holidays
  • Think about what you need and what you can afford
  • Make a little extra room for things that may come out of the blue, hold some money in an emergency fund.
  • Make sure you pay all your bills and necessities before you spend extra money on the festive season, this will help you make sure you haven’t overstretched.
  • Before you buy the little treat or “extra” for yourself, be sure it’s really worth the price.  Be careful of holiday sales this can be an opportunity to save money on something you really need, but would you have bought it in the first place? Be a bit careful.

The use of gift vouchers can help provide some independence for you so you go shopping and buy the necessities without the risk of having access to your money and gambling. Sometimes you can even get gift vouchers with a percentage off which gives you a small saving before you have even started your shopping.

If you are concerned about your willpower, you may ask someone you can trust to look after your cash or credit card. Especially if you know you’re going into a high risk situation over the festive season such as Christmas lunch in a gambling venue.

Remember is not about what you spend, but the time you spend together. If you need a hand we are here 24/7, 365 days a year!

Do I have a problem?

3 Dec 16
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People who gamble regularly rarely take the time to stop and consider whether they have a problem. To a point where it can become a normal part of their routine. 

By reading this blog you may have already identified that you need to consider whether your gambling, or the gambling of someone close to you, is a problem.

Browsing the web

The best thing to do is take a moment and think about where you are at.

Some indicators could be:  
  • Has gambling become a routine and not just a social outing for fun?  
  • Are you spending more money or time than you plan gambling?
  • Could I stop gambling today? 
  • Can I stay away this pay day? 
  • How do these questions make me feel?  

If these thoughts make you feel anxious, distressed or give you an overwhelming feeling that you need to gamble, then it may be time to consider some options.

You could speak to one of our Counsellors straight away – by signing up here.

Defining moments you may identify with

As gambling increases money can begin to lose its value and the amount you regularly spend can slowly increase without realising.

A bank statement or declined card may flag that something isn’t right and suddenly you realise the reality of your gambling. This can be a difficult moment in your journey but, can be an important turning point in your recovery.

Understanding that your gambling may be getting out of control and making a conscious decision to make a change is key.

Don* described how he was shocked when he sat down and looked at his monthly bank statement and realised how much he had gambled over the week.

“Gambling was fun and I enjoyed it, I had no idea my gambling was getting out of hand.
My wife showed me the monthly bank statement and I was shocked.  Each pay day there were up to 10 transactions where I took out money to gamble. Over a month that added up.”

It’s normal to feel surprised and upset when you realise that gambling is beginning to take over your life. 

Next Steps

Still not sure whether you could do with a hand?  Why not take a Self-Assessment which will give you an indication of where you are at and some strategies to help.

If you have decided you would like to make some changes – check out our Making A Change section for some tips and strategies to get you started. 

If you are concerned about someone else you can get some help in our Helping Others section.

Keep in mind - Life without gambling is possible and there is free and confidential support available to help you begin the process of recovery. 

*Name Changed

Looking after yourself during Spring Racing Season

31 Oct 16
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With Spring Racing Carnivals in full swing across the land, you may be feeling the pull of the punt more keenly than usual. But there are ways to curb your gambling, or even completely abstain depending on your goals.

Remember if things do get out of hand there is plenty of support available, here are some tips to keep on track.

Keeping it under control

If you want to gamble, but are concerned about keeping it within your budget here are some ways to manage you gambling:

Manage your money - Only take the amount of cash you can afford to gamble, Leave your cards at home so that you can’t impulsively spend more.

Understand the odds - the odds of winning are stacked against you, gambling companies are always set up so that they come out ahead – read more about the odds here.

Avoiding gambling

If you are trying to keep away from gambling completely there are a few strategies available to keep you on track:

Get some support – enlist the help of a person or people who understand why you are staying away from gambling and contact them whenever you need a hand.

Money management – When you leave the house just take enough money to get where you are going and to buy some food, leave your cards at home so you can’t gamble even if the urge strikes.

Self exclusion – There are a number of ways to exclude yourself from gambling both online and at venues. This is a great tool for stopping your gambling even if an urge strikes. Read more about self exclusion here.

Plan other activities – Being busy can help on track. Organise to meet some friends or 

The Race that Stops a Nation – (sort of)

Victorian’s even have a day off tomorrow for a horse race, the Melbourne Cup. This may make avoiding or curbing your gambling extra difficult as it will feature heavily on television and in advertising.

If possible try avoiding media and social media for the day, to help with some of the potential temptations. If you don’t encounter something that triggers you, you are less likely to feel an urge.

Go somewhere that doesn’t include gambling like a park, the beach, a café or even the shops. 

Going to a Melbourne Cup event

If you are planning on going to one of the many family and friends gatherings happening across Victoria tomorrow, prepare ahead to make the day as easy as possible,

If you feel really comfortable with the person holding the event you could call ahead and let them know that you are avoiding gambling and that you don’t want to take part in any betting.

To limit the impact only take a small amount of money, or don’t take any money at all with you, this way that you can control your money.

If they have the racing on position yourself away from it, hanging out with the kids can be great as they aren’t really interested and will keep you busy.

Why not read a bit more about making a change here

What are the signs of a gambling problem?

28 Oct 16
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Do you suspect that gambling has become a problem for yourself or someone you are close to.

Gambling for many people is a social pastime, but when it consumes someone’s time and/or money to a point where other parts of life are being adversely affected then it has probably become a problem.

But how can I know if I, or someone I know, really had a gambling problem? Here are some simple questions to consider.

Concerns

If you answered yes to any of these questions then gambling may be a problem for you or the person you are concerned about.

What does this mean and what can I do?

Hand on ShoulderIt can be difficult finding out you, or someone you know, has a gambling problem and you may even feel distressed. If you feel this way keep in mind there are lots of things you can do to help get the situation under control.

A great first step is talking to someone. The old saying “A problem shared is a problem halved” really is true!

Who could I talk to:

  • One of our Counsellors – you can start chatting to them straight away – just click on “Get Started”
  • Your GP – they are very friendly and have access to lots of resources
  • A close friend or family member
  • A trusted member of your community ie. a spiritual leader or elder

Next Steps

If you would like to know more about the signs of a gambling problem check out:

Understanding Gambling – Signs of a Problem

Helping Others – Signs of a problem

About our service:

Our services are free, confidential and available 24/7, regardless of how you have been affected by gambling we can help you every step of the way.

If you want to speak to someone you can start a chat session at any time at the top of the page or call 1800 858 858 and you can speak to a local service.

If you are having suicidal thoughts call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

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