LETTER: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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This month reminds us to pay attention to our health. Experts have shown that stress can have a dramatic impact on us mentally and physically. A variety of factors can relate to stress, and we are familiar with many of them – our jobs, our relationships, and our finances. One that might not come to mind immediately is the negative impact of gambling. Problems related to gambling have a close link to stress and anxiety, both for the people gambling and their loved ones.  

Over 600,000 New Yorkers have experienced a gambling problem in the past year. The effects can include sleep issues, the strain on relationships with loved ones, financial problems, and increased alcohol or drug use, all of which can cause stress. Two out of three individuals reported that their mental health suffered because of their gambling.  
  HELP is available for anyone exhibiting warning signs of a gambling problem, such as being absent from activities with friends or loved ones because of gambling; feeling stressed or anxious when not gambling; low work performance due to absence or preoccupation with gambling. Call the Central Problem Gambling Resource Center at  (315) 413-4676 or email CentralPGRC@nyproblemgambling.org. When you call, you will speak with someone from the  PGRC staff.All calls are confidential.

— Elizabeth Toomey, Central Team Leader, New York Council on Problem Gambling 
 

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