Youth Gambling Awareness Program

Program Overview

 

Why The YMCA

We believe that prevention programs are essential to improving individual health and personal development and creating a healthier community.

The Goal

To implement a prevention and education program designed to reduce the harm associated with youth gambling.

The Approach

We do not make value judgements regarding gambling; rather, we see it as an activity that people may or may not engage in. Through harm reduction, we will support young people to make healthy decisions about gambling.


What do we do in your community?

1. Awareness Raising Activities:

  • Deliver interactive sessions for youth ages 8-24
  • Offer students accurate information about gambling and develop the skills to make informed life decisions around risk-taking behaviours
  • Create a general understanding of risk assessment and harm reduction strategies
  • Discuss possible consequences of, and decisions relating to gambling
  • Offer curriculum activities based on Ministry of Education requirements
  • Give participants access to community resources and other local service providers that can help them with a potential gambling problem
  • Provide interactive sessions for adults involved in young people's lives
  • Educational workshops for parents, teachers, health professionals, and other agencies and organization.
  • Referral to gambling treatment services.
  • Attend community fairs/events

YGAP Workshop Options:

Elementary School

High School

Young Adults & Professionals

 

2. Community Involvement:

Plan and implement events designed to promote community awareness and involvement in issues related to youth gambling.


3. Youth Engagement:

Facilitate youth driven initiatives to promote youth expression and community action related to youth gambling.


Note to teachers and educators:

Educators play a key role in helping their students understand the signs of problem gambling. In addressing the needs of youth between the ages of 8 and 24, the YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program offers a series of educational workshops/presentations including the new Health and Physical Education Curriculum.

We:

  • Introduce your students to the potential risks of gambling;
  • Provide information about gambling and the role probability plays in games of chance;
  • Offer students accurate information about gambling and develop the skills to make informed life decisions around risk-taking behaviors
  • Discuss possible consequences of, and decisions relating to, gambling
  • Help students recognize the signs of problem gambling and identify strategies to reduce the harm associated with gambling including decision-making and coping strategies (in below, you will find some of the signs of problem gambling);
  • Give participants access to community resources and other local service providers that can help them with a potential gambling problem.

Signs of Problem Gambling

  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Being Argumentative
  • Feeling Irritable and restless
  • Feeling anxious, depressed and/or suicidal
  • Increased spending/chasing losses
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Lying, stealing
  • Promising to stop but continuing to gamble
  • Money appearing and disappearing

For Your Information

  • Studies of gambling show that adolescents report significantly higher rates of problem gambling than adults;
  • Problem gamblers are significantly more likely to start gambling earlier in life than non-problem gamblers;
  • Previous findings have shown that gambling patters begin as early as 8 years of age and can be established before an adolescent reaches high school;
  • Research show that youth are less likely to get involved in addiction, polyaddictions or criminalized behaviours if their coping strategies are enhanced. Our presentation focuses on developing assets.

For More Information:

Andrew Zanatta
Youth Outreach Worker - YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program
E: ygap@ymcaofniagara.ca 
T: 905 684 3500 ex. 442

Visit: www.ymcatoronto.org/gambling 
Gambling Support Services 905 684 1859 
YMCA Youth Gambling Programs across Ontario 1 877 525 5515 
Ontario Problem Gambling Help Line 1 888 230 3505

All Services are FREE

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care - Mental Health & Addictions Branch

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