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NSW GambleAware Partnership with WSLHD to Expand Language Support

New South Wales (NSW) government counselling service GambleAware joined forces with the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) to make sure the services offered by the Office of Responsible Gambling are available in more languages and with culturally-specific support.

Language and Culture-Specific Support

The new agreement with the WSLHD will provide additional language support to take the service to the next level and the director of the Office of Responsible Gambling Natalie Wright outlined it would make the service accessible to everyone, while also stressing culture-based differences and attitudes towards gambling.

“There are some very different attitudes and beliefs about gambling throughout different cultures and it’s really important when support is being provided, that it is being provided in an appropriate way,” Wright said as quoted by SBS News.

According to research data, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities show a lower tendency to gamble as compared to the general population but whenever they do, it usually is excessive and likely to bring problems.

“While we know around one per cent of the general population is impacted by gambling harm, of those people that are problem gamblers, around 20 per cent of those are from CALD backgrounds.”

Natalie Wright, Director, Office of Responsible Gambling

Make the Service Accessible to Everyone

As part of the agreement with the WSLHD, its Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) will provide culturally competent counsellors to those in need and expertise in how to approach people from different cultures. The center will also provide language support to ensure these people have access to the service.

“It’s really important that services are provided to everybody in NSW, as we’ve got really high proportions of multicultural communities.”

Natalie Wright, Director, Office of Responsible Gambling

CALD background people also experience difficulties seeking professional help influenced by factors like stigma and shame and when services are not available in their language and the communication is not with someone who understands their diversity, it complicates matters further. And WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy is well aware of that.

“Our goal is to ensure that anyone who needs help can speak to someone in the language they are most comfortable with, and who understands both their culture and community,” Loy said.

GambleAware is the new name of Gambling Help NSW, the free and confidential service aimed at people suffering from problem gambling, their families and relatives, changing the way gambling information, education, support and treatment is provided throughout the state.

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