GEGAC’s Quaranook Community Engagement Officer, Scott King. Photo: Jake Lynch/GEGAC

Did you know that GEGAC has a dedicated staff person you can talk to if you think that gambling might be a problem for you?

Scott King is our Quaranook Community Engagement Officer, and his job is simply to yarn with mob about the potential harms of gambling, and provide assistance to anyone who wants to minimise the impact that gambling has on their lives.

Scotty is just the right fella for this job. He’s had his own struggles with gambling.

And so he knows the warning signs – the things to look out for that tell you when gambling is actually causing harm to yourself, and your kids and family.

“You might tell your partner that you’ve paid a bill or a rates notice or something, but really you haven’t,” he says. “Maybe you haven’t paid your car rego, or you haven’t set aside some money for your kid’s birthday present, but you’re still putting a few hundred into the pokies up at the RSL. This is when gambling starts to actually damage your life, to damage the relationships you have, to risk what you have with your family.”

Scott says that from the minute you reach out to him at GEGAC, there’s no shame, no judgement.

“Who am I to judge anyone? We all have our struggles. My job is to listen to anyone that wants to talk, and then to provide whatever support is needed.”

That support includes a financial counsellor, who can assess your financial situation and provide advice on consolidating and sorting out any debt.

It also includes a therapeutic counsellor, who can help you reduce your gambling activity, learn distraction strategies and help you focus on the important things in your life.

“Addictions are like black holes in the ground,” Scott says. “You’ve got your head down there, and you can’t see anything. You can’t see what’s all around you. Your perspective is just limited to that black hole.”

“What we want to do at GEGAC is to step in and help people just raise their head out of the hole, and to look around and see what is all around them. To see families, to see mob, to see country, to see opportunities. Then, they are more likely to make those good choices in their life, because they can see what’s at stake – what they could really lose, or really gain.”

If you’re interested in yarning with Scotty for any reason, come down to GEGAC on a Wednesday and perch down around the yarning circle fire out the back of the medical building.

Or, give him a call directly on his mobile, which is 0499 834 694.

All confidential, no shame, no judgement.

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