Now will not be the time to vary the technique to fight gambling dependancy, the lawyer says


Halifax –
Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia was closed.

It was an organization devoted to gambling prevention, addiction awareness and research, but the Department of Health and Wellness decided to change its strategy to combat gambling addiction.

In a statement to CTV Atlantic, the department said those efforts are now being linked to "other mental health and addiction problems".

Some are questioning the timing of the decision during the pandemic, including gambling addiction advocate Don Bishop, who is closely monitoring the situation.

"Our youngest son took his own life at the age of 32," said Bishop.

Bishop's son Eric was addicted to VLT gambling.

"We weren't looking for sympathy, we were looking for action," said Bishop.

Bishop became an anti-gambling attorney, working in New Brunswick and nationally.

Treating problem gambling requires government support, help and advice, says Bishop.

The Department of Health and Wellness also said that "Problem gambling support services will continue to be available to those in need".

But Bishop is against the idea of ​​a generalized approach.

"Unfortunately, it's not a one-size-fits-all recipe," he said. "It takes personal contact, and each of these people has a different story. Everyone had different problems."

Psychologist Dayna-Lee Baggley declined to comment on the closure but said it comes at a time when COVID-19 has forced people to stay at home.

"We know we know we know mental health resources, and we need them now," Baggley said.

The result has led to an increase in anxiety, eating, drinking, and gambling online.

"It's really important that we keep in mind how stressful COVID is and what impact it is having on us," said Baggley.

And this effect, says Baggley, could last a long time.