This blog has been put together by Ian from the Multicultural Problem Gambling Service (MPGS) in NSW, which is funded by the NSW Government, for the delivery of free and confidential help to problem gamblers and their families, from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds across the state of NSW. Ian is a Clinical Consultant with the Multicultural Problem Gambling Service for NSW. You can find out more about the service here.
What can I expect in a Counselling environment?
For a person who was born into and/or grew up in a Westernised society, the notion of counselling is familiar. However, for one who has recently migrated or was not raised in such an environment, the idea and practice of counselling can be alien. To the unfamiliar, counselling appears to be having a dialogue with a “stranger” and just talk – nothing could be further from the truth.
Through the process of dialogue, the counsellor assists by addressing the presenting problems in a way that clarifies the issues, explores options, develops strategies and increases self-awareness. For some, it is helpful to tell their story and speak their mind to someone who is unrelated, objective, and nonjudgmental. Counsellors are bound by a professional code of ethics that entails all discussion with the client to be private and confidential. Nonetheless, an exception arises when a counsellor has a duty of care to report something that threatens your wellbeing or the wellbeing of others.
Family support and counselling, such as that provided by Gambling Help services, can assist by discussing ways in which the family member(s) can help a person who is gambling excessively, and help them to support their loved one who is trying to stop or reduce problematic gambling behaviour. Such services provide assistance to families during tough times through information and education, one-on-one (individual) counselling or counselling in a group.
English is not your first language
- You are concerned about the impact of your culture on gambling behaviour
- You would rather choose to express yourself freely in your mother tongue
- You know someone who has a gambling problem and does not speak English, don’t let language prevent you, your loved one, or someone you know, from accessing the help needed.
- Call Translation and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 and ask to talk to Gambling Helpline in the language required.
- TIS will call Gambling Helpline on behalf of the caller. A call to TIS is the cost of a local call from landlines (additional charges apply for mobiles).
To find out more
Multicultural Problem Gambling Service for NSW (MPGS) – counselling, treatment and support services, and resources downloadable in various languages for problem gamblers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities living in NSW and their families.
Telephone: 1800 856 800.
If you are from another state you can find out about services for culturally and linguistically diverse people in your state here or you can call 1800 858 858 for some assistance.