HILDA survey identifies harm caused by problem gambling | Mental Health First Aid

Each year the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey is released, and for the first time in 2017 has researched gambling, revealing that 1.4 million Australians are directly harmed by the activity.

The HILDA survey follows the lives of more than 17,000 Australians and collects information on aspects of life in Australia, including household and family relationships, income and employment, and health and education.

An article in The Conversation shares that about 39.1% of Australians typically gamble on a monthly basis. However around 8% of these experience some harm from gambling.

For each “problem gambler”, six other people are affected. For each “moderate risk” gambler, about three others are affected. And for each “low risk” gambler, an additional person is affected.

When these are applied to the HILDA data, this suggests gambling adversely affects more than 3.3 million Australians, in addition to the 1.4 million directly affected.

If there is someone in your life that you think may be experiencing difficulties as a result of problem gambling our guidelines for Helping Someone with Gambling Problems may be helpful.

These guidelines provide information on how to:

  • Identify risk factors and signs of problem gambling
  • Understand the motivations for gambling
  • Approach someone to have a conversation
  • Communicate effectively with someone experiencing gambling problems
  • Provide support to someone and refer them to appropriate help

MHFA will be releasing a specialised Gambling course later this year to help carers, family and colleagues to learn more about how they can apply our gambling guidelines and support a loved one.

View all MHFA courses

View all MHFA Guidelines