Edition #3: Special research bulletin

Older couple embracing in family kitchen
Older couple embracing in family kitchen
Photo: iStock

New evidence

Supporting people with gambling problems to seek help and recover: guidelines for the public

The aim of this project was to create guidelines to help members of the public recognise and support someone with a gambling problem, such as a family member, friend or co-worker.

The project team recruited two panels to bring a strong evidence base and expert consensus to the project. The first panel consisted of people with lived experience of problem gambling, either as a gambler or carer, and the second consisted of people with academic or clinical experience of problem gambling.

The project was led by Betty Kitchener and Kathy Bond from Mental Health First Aid Australia and funded through round one of the foundation's Grants for Clinical Research on Gambling.

Developing the guidelines

The project team created a list of statements about helping someone with a gambling problem, based on a review of academic and help services literature.

The two panels then rated these statements, which covered topics such as:

  • the warning signs
  • talking to someone with gambling problems about your concerns, including dealing with difficulties that may arise during the conversation
  • encouraging someone to seek help for their gambling
  • providing support to help someone change.

The panels then completed further surveys to review statements where there was disagreement, as well as rate new statements suggested by panel members. The guidelines were then developed from the statements supported by both panels.

How this research might be useful

The guidelines have been developed for promotion to the public as an appropriate way of responding to problem gambling. They can be used as a resource to help family and friends recognise the warning signs of problem gambling earlier and approach the person experiencing problems in a supportive and non-judgemental way.

The list of warning signs for problem gambling developed and refined by expert consensus throughout the project could also be used in future research.

The guidelines are available from Mental Health First Aid Australia.

Download the report

Supporting people with gambling problems to seek help and recover: guidelines for the public (PDF - 2191.9 KB)

Related articles

Posting guidelines

To ensure this page is friendly and welcoming for all visitors, we ask that you:

  • be respectful of others and their opinions
  • do not reveal any personal or sensitive information about others, including naming people who are affected by gambling problems
  • do not harass, abuse or threaten others
  • do not post comments that are likely to offend others, particularly in reference to an individual's race, age, gender, sexuality, political leaning, religion or disability
  • do not use obscene or offensive language
  • do not post defamatory comments
  • do not post repeat comments continuously
  • do not repeatedly post information which is factually inaccurate and may mislead others
  • do not promote anything that may constitute spam, such as commercial interests, solicitations, advertisements or endorsements of any non-governmental agency
  • protect your personal privacy by not including email addresses, phone numbers or home addresses.

Any comments that violate these terms will be deleted.