Celebrating Military Family Appreciation Month
Families of those who serve in the military are too often overlooked. That’s why Military Family Appreciation Month this November is so important. Supporting a family member who has chosen to serve their country and community is a serious commitment. And with those actively serving and veterans at increased risk for problem gambling, supporting them is part of the mission for both responsible gambling advocates and military families.
Studies show that veterans are at greater risk for developing a problem with gambling. Nationwide, veterans are twice as likely to struggle with a problem with gambling. And here in Ohio, one out of every 10 veterans is at risk for problem gambling. Veterans who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are up to 60 percent more likely to struggle with a problem with gambling.
Many veterans may develop a problem with gambling during their service, when they spend time playing games of all kinds to relieve stress or boredom and compete with their fellow service members. Common games include slots, card games, and buying scratch-offs.
When veterans struggle with problem gambling, it puts strain on their families as they can withdraw from their relationships and begin to borrow money to relieve financial stress. Raising awareness of the signs of veteran problem gambling among veterans and their families is a crucial step to strengthening the veteran support system.
Resources are available to help, including the Before You Bet veterans toolkit, where organizations serving veterans and military families can find resources to spread awareness about the signs of problems with gambling and tips to engage in gambling responsibly. To keep gambling responsible, remember to:
- Set limits on the amount you bet and how much time you spend gambling
- Recognize the risks of gambling
- Know when to quit
If you or someone you know might have a problem with gambling, the Problem Gambling Helpline is available 24/7. There you can speak with trained and understanding specialists offering free and confidential support by calling 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741.