It can be hard trying to help someone who gambles, especially if they do not think they have a problem or do not want to stop. Many people find it difficult to talk to someone close to them about gambling issues because they often do not know what to say and it can be confronting.

Simple gestures such as listening when the gambler wants to talk and checking how they are feeling can help them feel safe, so that they begin to talk about what’s going. Providing this support is an important step in recovery.

However, discussing the issue of gambling directly can be confronting for both you and the person who gambles.

Keep in mind that it may be a potentially sensitive conversation that could escalate and be upsetting for everyone concerned.

You can speak to one of our free, confidential counsellors online, at any time. They can help you develop an action plan for helping the person you are concerned about and you can seek additional support if needed.

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Use connecting statements

A connecting statement can be a useful way to start a conversation.

A connecting statement is a truthful statement about something positive between you and the other person, that makes you both feel connected and positive about your relationship.

For example, 'I really care about you and what happens to us and because of that I feel have to talk about what I've been noticing.'

More information

Mental Health First Aid International – helping someone with gambling problems. (This link will redirect you to an external website.)