May 1-31, 2022 is Mental Health Awareness Month and the theme this year is Back to Basics, which is appropriate considering so many Americans have been struggling with mental health difficulties since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention everything going on in the world around us today. The years 2020 and 2021 can best be described as a transitional period for Floridians, from coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their daily lives to adapting to the situation, and finally accepting a new normal. The onset of 2022 has also been challenging for many and for those suffering from the ill effects of gambling addiction, increased stressors, including mental health impacts are ongoing.
During FY 2020-2021, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s 24-Hour Confidential and Multilingual 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine received contacts from Floridians experiencing serious to severe problems in their lives due to gambling. In addition to relationship, financial and legal complications, more than half of the gamblers identified during these contacts (60%) acknowledged experiencing feelings of depression and others identified challenges with anxiety (55%) and neglect (37%). This was also true for loved ones seeking help, in that nearly 59% admitted to feeling anxiety, depression (34%), and neglect (33%).
It’s important to remember that while there are many things compulsive gamblers and loved ones have no control over, there is always something one can do to improve their individual circumstances and it’s never too late to start. This is particularly true for those suffering with mental health problems due to gambling because gambling addiction is treatable for those who seek help. Best of all, in the State of Florida, all anyone needs to do to secure the assistance needed for a gambling problem is to make contact with the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine. While this may sound too good to be true, it’s a fact – the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine can provide gamblers and loved ones with the support needed to begin their paths to recovery, healing one day at a time.
This year’s theme of Back to Basics is also an important reminder to keep things simple because at times we engage in activities or situations that can complicate our lives. Getting Back to Basics encourages us to examine our daily habits to determine if they are serving us in positive ways. Are we engaging in activities that will improve our life situations and enable us to feel better? Are we caring for our physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial health? Are we nurturing the relationships that are important in our lives? Start doing things NOW that present positives in your life! Engage in activities that relax you, talk to others, get rest, eat well, exercise, and most importantly, take action to bring about positive change in your life!
Finally, think about things differently. Start imagining a new reality. This is a solid first step. When you think about things, you start to redirect your mind. Your thoughts become words. Your words become actions. Your actions can change your life!
To start your recovery journey and begin the healing process, call 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), text (321-978-0555), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), use the 888-ADMIT-IT App (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it), or reach out on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.