Mental Health and Gambling


Whether you play poker or blackjack at a casino, pool your money at a racetrack or buy lottery tickets, gambling provides social activities and an escape from everyday life. It also provides an opportunity to make friends with others who share your interests and passions.

People often gamble to reduce their stress and anxiety, or to help them cope with a loss or grief. However, this can lead to addiction if it becomes more important than other things in their lives. Getting help to stop gambling is essential and should be done as soon as you realize that it is becoming a problem.

Gambling is not a sin, but it can cause problems and damage relationships with family members and friends, and affect other people’s lives. These are some of the reasons that it is considered a mental health issue and a public health concern.

A good support network is important when it comes to dealing with a gambling problem. It can help to find someone to talk to, who has been through similar problems and can offer guidance on how to overcome them. This could be a family member, friend or a member of the community, such as a support group.

Taking control of your finances can also help you manage your gambling and prevent relapses. This can include setting a limit on your spending and using credit cards responsibly.

You can also attend a gambling helpline to learn more about how you can get support or talk to a professional. These services are available in many states and can be a great resource for you.

There are also resources that can be accessed online to help with problem gambling. These can include free resources and self-help groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous.

Treatment for gambling harms is an ongoing priority across England, Scotland and Wales. The aim is to develop truly national treatment and support options that can be used by those who need them, in the right place at the right time. This means improving existing commissioning and oversight arrangements, ensuring that support is more accessible and relevant for those who need it, and making sure that those who have other mental health conditions are not left without support when they have gambling-related issues.

Understanding the impact of gambling

In order to understand the impact of gambling, impacts can be assessed on different levels (Fig. 1). Individual impacts are observed on the personal level, while external impacts are observed at the interpersonal and community/society levels.

These impacts are often categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health, and well-being. They are observable on both the personal and interpersonal levels and can be observed in multiple situations, such as gambling revenues, tourism, changes in other industries, or infrastructure costs or values.

The most important challenge in defining and measuring the effects of gambling is that they are not easy to quantify. There are many methods to measure impacts, but some of them are too simplistic and may not capture all aspects of the problem. This is especially true for social impacts.