By almost every measure, the Super Bowl is the most popular sporting event in America. It’s also the country’s single biggest illegal gambling event, with more than $4.7 billion in bets wagered, most of them illegal. For those who struggle with gambling addiction, it can be a particularly challenging time.
As Super Bowl LII quickly approaches, Screening for Mental Health is also preparing to launch its new mental health assessment for gambling disorder. This anonymous online self-assessment helps people identify their risk of having a gambling disorder. Within the next few weeks, individuals will be able to take the gambling screen at the HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org web site, which also connects them to educational materials and support options.
The goal of the new gambling screen is to destigmatize conversations about mental health, while making it easy for those who are not comfortable with the discussion to anonymously get help.
According to the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction, nearly 10 million Americans have a gambling addiction problem. Gambling has a high comorbidity rate with other disorders, meaning that those who have problem gambling behaviors are very likely to also suffer from depression, substance use or another mental health disorder. They also are at higher risk for suicide. The positive news is that gambling disorders are treatable and manageable.
Symptoms of gambling disorders include:
- Being preoccupied with gambling
- Trying to control gambling, without success
- Needing to increase the amount of money with which you gamble to get the same satisfaction
- Gambling more to get back money lost from previous gambling
The gambling screening is the latest of many screening tools and initiatives available on the mentalhealthscreening.org web site. Others include depression, bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder, PTSD disorder, eating disorder and substance use disorder.
To learn more about mental health screening, visit HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.