A Culture of Silence
June 16, 2015
Recently, I was fortunate enough to serve as an exhibitor at the Asian Cultural Event in Orlando, Florida. The FCCG purchased a table at the event in order to expose the Asian community to the various problem gambling resources available to Floridians. I’ve tabled at events like this in the past, your average event features community members quickly passing by tables, simply gazing at the materials and free handouts (which we had plenty of!). The Asian Cultural Event was not your normal event.
Within just the first hour, five different individuals came up to our table specifically to thank us for being there while relaying stories of how prevalent problem gambling is within the Asian community.
By the end of the event, countless people came up to our table requesting more information for resources. After processing all the stories and conversations, I came away with one theme… there is a major cultural silence regarding problem gambling. Many concerned family members expressed their frustrations regarding the reluctance of people to speak openly about their gambling addiction. Cultural norms and traditions served as a barrier, preventing people from asking for help.
One of the taglines from this year’s Problem Gambling Awareness Month was “have the conversation.” We want to encourage people to have an open dialogue about problem gambling and addiction in general. Addiction is a community issue and communities need to break the culture of silence if they wish to heal.