Fighting the odds

Games People Play program coordinator Lesley Akora and psychologist Thuyasithis.
Games People Play program coordinator Lesley Akora and psychologist Thuyasithis.

A research review by MSCWA found that some ethnic communities were disproportionately affected by problem gambling in terms of higher prevalence and lower help-seeking rates.

To combat problem gambling within culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities across the metropolitan area, MSCWA last week launched Games People Play, a culturally sensitive program designed to support problem gamblers and their families.

Program co-ordinator Lesley Akora said the program would incorporate a psychologist and help raise awareness of the effect of problem gambling within CaLD communities.

‘The research review suggests there is over-representation of Asians, Africans and Middle Eastern/East European communities in casino participation in WA and under-representation in help-seeking,’ she said.

Ms Akora said there were several reasons CaLD community members gambled regularly and less likely to seek help.

‘Difficulties encountered during the process of acculturation can lead to gambling as a form of coping,’ she said.

‘Language barriers can impede help-seeking and prevent access to gambling treatment resources.’

Games People Play is offered throughout the metropolitan region. For details, call 9328 1544.