In June 2023 the Cha in the City Open Group for Punjabi men met virtually to discuss the Impact of Gambling. Here are some reflections from the brilliant team who facilitate and contribute towards those conversations.
As usual there were some questions to guide the discussion on the topic, although the questions are posed to support the discussions, the conversations often are led by the participants. The questions this month that were offered included:
- How can gambling impact your personal, financial, and professional life?
- Is there an understanding within the Punjabi community on the impact of gambling?
- What support is available?
This month was a small an intimate group for the discussion, which nevertheless brought an open and fruitful discussion.
This month whilst no one had direct/personal experience of gambling problems we were able to explore the subject and consider how gambling is viewed in today’s society and more specifically the Punjabi community.
The conversations around how accessible and almost socially acceptable gambling is in the UK was discussed, this included reflecting on the sports and social media advertising of gambling. Also, the accessibility to gambling opportunities were recognised as beyond the traditional bookmaker shops and has become even more accessible via mobile phone apps.
There was also a reflection on different types/opportunities for gambling some more obvious than others such as sports, but also consider ‘market gambling’ such as crypto currencies and stocks etc.
There was a recognition that gambling problems could be quite hidden problem both in wider society and in our communities. The impact of gambling may not always be obvious certainly when initially becoming problematic, but there was a sense that often it can be associated with other life challenges such as substance misuse and mental health.
We talked about the responses from within the community and support services. It was noted whilst there is often the tag line on advertising of ‘Gamble Aware’ and people were also aware of Gamblers Anonymous but beyond this we struggled to know where the help is. Within the community there is also the additional barrier to help/support as there is conflicts with faiths and cultural expectations.
This topic was great way to introduce the subject and for those that participated, it left of sense and wanting to learn more and understanding around what support there was out there for people.
The forums are a great safe place to explore issues that have an impact either directly or indirectly to our wellbeing. Participating in the facilitated spaces are a great opportunity to share and hear about a range of subjects, and we are always keen to hear from participants about subjects for future forums. The next forum in July will be on ‘Navigating Divorce – and we will be looking at this topic from individuals challenges as well as community responses to people either going through or who are divorced.
Thank you for reading - if you like the sound of these discussions and want to attend the next open group, please see our Events page.