If you're worried that gambling might be a problem, the Gambling Helpline Aotearoa can help you free of charge. The opportunity can give you a safe place to talanoa, kōrero or let you know about face-to-face counseling services in your vicinity. You can still contact the support team if you are concerned about someone else's gambling.
Gambling Helpline Aotearoa is the national free phone support service for people affected by gambling in Aotearoa and the rest of New Zealand. The service operates 24/7 with quick response, including weekends and holidays. In addition, the team can refer you to other gambling support agencies.
The community-specific gambling counselors available can help you improve your financial skills. They can also support you or your family members with practical programs around gambling-related financial issues. With that in mind, let’s review the services available to those affected by gambling addiction and other challenges.
The Support Services at the Gambling Helpline Aotearoa
Gambling Helpline Aotearoa has four different specialist services: the Māori Gambling Helpline, the Pasifika Gambling Helpline, the Debt Gambling Helpline, and the Youth Gambling Helpline. These provide free guidance in varying degrees, including free phone calls, face-to-face counselling, and debt support.
The support services go beyond the free phone counseling. You can text 8006. and explain your gambling problem. Then, a specialized counselor will review your text and send a personalized response.
This free text service is an excellent alternative to free phone or face counselling. Both provide free and confidential support.
The Gambling Helpline Forum provides an anonymous and free-to-use platform to communicate with other bettors. You can learn from real-life stories and get support or encouragement.
Let’s review the different specialized gambling support services and what they offer.
Maori Gambling Helpline
The Māori Gambling Helpline can be reached by calling 0800 654 656 and has professional gambling counselors available 24/7. Their kaupapa, or goal, is to listen to your whanau or problem. Then, the counselling team can assist you in dealing with the adverse effects of harmful gambling.
The helpline is also available if someone else’s gambling habits are getting addictive. You can contact the counselling team, who will provide many practical suggestions. They can also refer you to local PGF services if theirs are unavailable.
The Māori Gambling Helpline support staff speaks English, Maori, and French. You can indicate which language you are most comfortable communicating in. Then, the website or telephone services will be provided in that language.
Pasifika Gambling Helpline
The Pasifika Gambling Helpline is available via the freephone line, 0800 654 657. This service specializes in aiding people with gambling problems in the Pacific community. The friendly and professional support team can listen to your story.
You can talk about your current challenges while the counselling team shares its knowledge about solving gambling-related challenges. The team will also provide support and work with you on a plan to take action and combat your gambling addiction.
The Pasifika Gambling Helpline counselors can assist you in finding ways to approach another person's gambling problems. You can schedule ongoing support through calls; face-to-face counseling is also available in some areas of New Zealand.
Debt Gambling Helpline
Your own gambling spending habits may not lead to debt. However, the Debt Gambling Helpline is available if you are concerned about a family member or friend falling into debt.
This free and confidential support service is available through its phone line, 0800 654 658. Experienced financial counselors are on the other end to assist those affected by gambling-related debt crises. Also, support is available around the clock.
If necessary, the team can refer you to practical programs. These practical gambling debt programs can help you with the following:
How to properly budget your monthly expenses
Mapping your debt information
Safe and secure communication with your creditors
Setting up a self-monitored banking system
A list of contacts you can contact to discuss legal obligations and rights
Face-to-face gambling counselling
Trusteeship budgeting assistance and money management services
Community services regarding legal and consumer issues
Youth Gambling Helpline
Although people of all ages can end up with gambling problems, young adults seem more at risk than other age groups. For this reason, the Gambling Helpline has a special Youth Gambling Helpline available 24/7 at 0800 654 659.
This gambling helpline has younger counselors who can listen to your personal story and provide free and confidential support. Their services extend to others if you are worried that a family member or friend is facing challenges with their betting habits.
You can chat with the Youth Gambling Helpline through WhatsApp. The chat service is available at the same number used for phone calls. Although chat support is available 24/7, you might not receive a response immediately.
The best approach is to select or arrange a suitable time for the youth counselors to call you back.
Gambling Helpline Self Help
Nothing stops you from getting an excellent education to help you gamble and spend money responsibly. Thankfully, the Gambling Helpline provides these self-help education alternatives to phone, free text, and chat services.
Educational self-help booklets are available for free download on the Gambling Helpline website, and they include the following:
The Gambling Helpline Aotearoa strongly suggests you call any of the 4 gambling helplines for regular support. You don’t have to wait until you become worried about your betting habits. Place the call whenever you're ready to avoid gambling venues in the country, such as casinos, pubs, race tracks, etc.
It is also advisable to do other things instead of gambling, such as listening to music, visiting family and friends, etc. If your general practitioner approves, you can also exercise for added health promotion.
Gambling harm does happen instantly. It gradually develops until your family and friends recognize the addiction and become worried.
Play with financial discipline. Remember, you can still say, “I won’t gamble today.”
GP check-ups can be helpful when seeking help for someone else. This medical procedure can help identify the extent of the gambling harm in the person’s habits. The same can apply to you whenever you feel the compulsive need to gamble.
You can always call any of the four available gambling helplines. This is vital, especially if you suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression because of the gambling problem of your loved one.
The Gambling Helpline Aotearoa offers extensive and free support services to those affected by gambling harm. However, there are other organizations in the country that provide free support through their website or phone service. These include:
The PGF services
The Salvation Army Oasis
Both organizations offer counselling, advice, and support. They also run educational and support programs and help keep players away from pokie machines and other betting venues.
The Salvation Army Oasis provides group sessions for family and friends, with or without the player. This helps reduce the effect of any gambling harm from compulsive betting.
You can learn more about their programs on their website. The platforms also have webchat, video calls, and email support.
Calling the gambling helpline NZ is a good step towards getting your life back on track. However, instead of only relying on counselling by phone, the service can also refer you to face-to-face gambling counselling agencies. You can also join free group meetings such as GA (Gamblers Anonymous) through the gambling helpline.
These group sessions can be powerful motivation to push through your gambling problems. Take that bold step today to cut yourself loose from your betting addiction.
Author: Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith knows a lot about different areas of gambling. She's been our main writer for most things since 2019. She spoke at a big conference in London in 2022 and has been recognized at several industry events.
Last updated 02/11/2023 - Article published 26/11/2018
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