May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted by Ohio for Responsible Gambling.

The month of May could mean many different things for you: the arrival of spring, graduation parties, or Memorial Day observances. But May is significant for another reason you might not know – it is Mental Health Awareness Month. 

You might be wondering how problem gambling and mental health are connected. But gambling addiction has the highest prevalence of suicide when compared to other disorders. Furthermore, an estimated one in five individuals struggling with gambling addiction contemplate suicide. Problem gambling can also impact mental health in other ways, including loss of sleep, anxiety, and depression. 

Understanding the influence problem gambling can have on a person’s mental health, Before You Bet chose May to announce the launch of new educational resources, including a PSA video titled “Make The Call.” The video and other resources increase awareness of the Problem Gambling Helpline to the general public. In addition, they connect at-risk individuals and others who may be concerned about someone they love to the support they may need before they reach a crisis point.

When Ohioans call the free, 24/7 Problem Gambling Helpline, they connect with an understanding and trained specialist who provides confidential support without judgment or commitment.

There are some signs to look for that could indicate a potential problem with gambling if you think you or someone you know could be at-risk. The signs include:

Spending a lot of time gamblingGambling more often or with more moneyWithdrawing from relationshipsHiding gambling behavior from friends and familyBorrowing money for gambling

For more resources and information on problem gambling, you can visit BeforeYouBet.org. There, you can take the quiz to see if you’re at-risk for problem gambling and find free resources for responsible gambling. 

And remember that help is always available by calling the free Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 74174. If you are starting to have questions about your gambling habits or those of someone you care about, make the call today.   

Author: Gloria Fleming