Taking chances with gambling? Help is here for West Kootenay residents
Gambling has long been available to residents of the West Kootenay region, but the new Chances community gaming centre in Castlegar adds another option.
The gaming centre will provide fun and entertainment for many, but for a few it can lead to serious problems. It is estimated that in BC 4.6 per cent of the population experiences problems with gambling.
There’s no need to roll the dice on a gambling problem, said Celeste Le Duigou, Castlegar and District Community Services problem gambling counselor and prevention specialist.
“The approach is non-judgmental and the client sets their own goals for a healthier life,” she said. “All sessions are in the client’s community, or even on the phone if desired.”
Her services are available to anybody who thinks he or she may have a problem and wants to make positive changes in their lives. The confidential counseling services are free of charge and every effort is made to reduce barriers to service – which is available from Grand Forks to Cranbrook.
“By the time they call for help, problem gamblers are frequently desperate and sometimes suicidal,” she said in a release. “They may be facing the prospect of bankruptcy, destroying a relationship, or losing property or a job.”
Help is also available free to the families and loved ones of gamblers.
Le Duigou also provides prevention services, such as information booths at community events, colleges, interactive presentations for grades six, eight and high school, as well as to other groups, such as churches, parents, seniors and service clubs.
Look for upcoming information booths at the Pass Creek, Rock Creek/Boundary and Creston Fall Fairs.
“Anybody interested in learning more about problem gambling prevention can request a presentation tailored to their group,” said Le Duigou. “There is even training available for community and medical professionals who may be the first to see the signs of a problem.”
- If you need help or information because of your own or someone else’s gambling, you can call the Problem Gambling Help Line 24 hours a day at 1-888-795-6111. You can also call Celeste directly at 250-608-2254.