June is Men’s Health Month, a national observance used to raise awareness about health and wellness for men and boys all over the country. It is used to encourage families to practice healthy habits. According to the Center for the Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States die an average of five years earlier than women and die at higher rates from the three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries. This can be treated and prevented when families, specifically men, take the proper measures that aid in promoting health and thus lead to longer life.
Part of having a longer life is building habits that not only promote your physical health but also prevent mental health issues such as problem gambling. Difficulties faced by those suffering from gambling addiction are not limited to financial and legal troubles, and often include emotional and domestic problems as well. Seventy-five percent (75%) of those contacting Florida’s 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine reported family conflict, and twenty-three percent (23%) reported suicidal thoughts or attempts as a result of gambling addiction. Other mental health challenges associated with problem gambling are anxiety, depression and family neglect. HelpLine data also showed that out of contacts who identified the gender of the gambler, sixty-two percent (62%) were male. The success in promoting health for a longer life is to seek help, if you are experiencing any of these situations.
Working towards creating healthy habits is also raising awareness to the patterns youth may develop, in gaming online. As we all know, media usage has increased due to COVID-19, and internet consumption has increased as well. However, with more internet access comes a higher risk for exposure to gambling addiction for kids. Research has shown that kids who play casino-like video games for free are also more likely to start gambling .
It is important to consider that kids may not have the best coping or decision making skills and part of prevention is family involvement. Take the time to speak to your boys about gambling addiction and its negative effects. The success is in prevention when it comes to problem gambling. The Florida Council of Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) has the resources necessary to help guide you into recovery through its completely confidential 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine.
The FCCG’s 24-hour Confidential and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine may be reached by calling 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321) 978-0555, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, initiating a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, or by reaching out to us on social media platforms.
 Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2018. NCHS Data Brief, no 355. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020.
 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2019 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2019, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report.
 King, D. L., Delfabbro, P. H., & Griffiths, M. D. (2010b). The convergence of gambling and digital media: Implications for gambling in young people. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26, 175–187.