Gambling harm services in NSW, including free and confidential counselling, are now accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) members of the community looking for support.
The state’s Office of Responsible Gambling has chosen the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) to oversee providers of multicultural services for its flagship gambling support program.
Known as GambleAware, the program will include culturally appropriate support and counselling services to clients across the state’s diverse communities.
Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) director Natalie Wright said it was important to ensure that services were accessible to every person who needed it.
“No matter your background, you are able to access appropriate support in the language and setting that best suits you,” Wright said.
Research commissioned by ORG showed that CALD communities were vulnerable to increased risks of gambling-related harm. While fewer individuals from these communities tended to gamble overall; those who did were more likely to experience problems.
Examples of what the research identified as intersecting reasons this cohort was especially vulnerable to gambling harms may include cultural beliefs and luck and change, issues associated with stigma and shame, and lower rates of problem gamblers seeking help.
WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy said the goal of the GambleAware’s CALD services was to support multicultural communities in their own language, and with providers who understand their culture.
“Given these vulnerabilities, this partnership is a great opportunity to connect multicultural communities across NSW with vital support services,” Loy said.
The WSLHD has experience delivering multicultural services through the Transcultural Mental Health Centre for over 20 years. The district also previously operated the state-wide multicultural problem gambling service.