Volunteering with the Peer Connection telephone support service, Shayne had an idea that came to life with support from Banyule Community Health. Soon enough he was working as a plumber by day and co-producing and presenting the ‘Not a Dollar More’ podcast series in his spare time with the Gambler’s Help Peer Connection team. In its first five months, there were 6,000 downloads of the podcast across all episodes.
As a teenager struggling with gambling addiction, Shayne sought help several times but did not stop gambling until he was 27 years old. His story is similar to other young men interviewed on one of the podcasts. They talk about catching up with mates, having a beer and placing a bet at the TAB or using online apps.
The problem is that too many young men don’t know how to recognise that they may be developing a problem or understand that some ideas, like winning money back or getting even, are false beliefs. Shayne said “I see young guys on building sites who are quietly gambling on their mobile phone and I think that if they were more aware of the issues they could protect themselves from possible harm or get help before things spiral out of control.”
The podcasts aim to inspire people to make the changes they need if they are experiencing gambling harm. People are encouraged to reach out for help when there is less stigma and shame attached to the problem.
Shayne interviews many people about how they hit rock bottom, what motivated them to get help and the different types of support they used. Some talk about their experiences with Gambler’s Help counselling and financial counselling services. Others also talk about how getting peer support from Peer Connection and Gamblers Anonymous was key to their recovery. The stories are real, raw and inspiring. Shayne’s informal and friendly style allows people to share their often-painful experiences in a friendly and non-judgmental way.
Not A Dollar More is a podcast of nine episodes. Each episode tackles different aspects of gambling addiction starting with the essential question of “Is your gambling harmful?” Other episodes include the pokies, affected others, and relapse and triggers. Episode 6 is about ‘Young men and gambling.’ Shayne is now working with our Gambler’s Help Community Engagement team on a project that would specifically target young men.
Shayne’s idea goes a long way to improve access to gambling related information in the ‘mainstream’ community. Just as we all know that smoking is bad for our health and people talk about family violence, the Not A Dollar More podcasts raise public awareness of gambling harm.
What the listeners said:
‘Very motivating, somehow hearing someone sharing their story makes it seem more real’
‘Even though I’ve stopped gambling they are really helpful for me’
‘Thanks for having this podcast it’s nice to know I am not alone and there are success stories out there, because at the moment my hope is vanishing.’