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Opinion: During stress awareness month, be alert for gambling lures


Submittec by Jeffrey Wierzbicki, Western/Finger Lakes PGRC

Inflation is high, prices are higher, and many people are struggling just to put food on the table. When our finances are tight, stress can increase. Stress is defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. When we are stressed, we might start looking for an escape. You might even think that gambling or the lottery and hitting it “BIG” is the answer. In fact, it may cause more strains in your relationships at home and at work and start to affect your mental health causing more stress, anxiety, and depression.

There are many opportunities to gamble, the grocery store, casinos, online sports betting, convenient stores, and gas stations all offer gambling. Most can gamble and play the lottery for fun or entertainment. Unfortunately, sometimes gambling can take a toll on our mental health and further strain us financially.

Understanding what problem gambling is and why you may be gambling is a good place to start. The New York Council on Problem Gambling has many resources to help you. Reaching out for help is hard, but there are many resources out there. These resources include:  The Path of Problem Gambling, this is an infographic that can show you how gambling can affect an individual, as well as your family members, co-workers, and community. We also have The Cost of Problem Gambling , this will show you how much money gambling is costing you every year.  Another way to start small is by taking an e-screener. The e-screener is confidential and anonymous and can help someone decide if they are ready to reach out for help. These free resources can be found at

After learning more about what problem gambling is and how it may be affecting you, you may want to reach out for more support. The Westerns Problem Gambling Resource Center is here to help. We can connect you to support groups, clinicians or provide you with more educational materials. We are happy to talk with you and explore your options. Call 1-833-437-3864, to talk with someone who can help. All calls are confidential.

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