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Collapse Issue 494:<br />18 May 2020<br />_____________Issue 494:
18 May 2020
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Pocket parks face renewed threat, says reserves group
Woy Woy postmaster retires after 35-year career
Council approves five-storey hotel for Ettalong
Video meeting of community groups welcomed
Masterplan on display for second time
Draft plan envisages revitalisation of Woy Woy
Draft strategy 'well-considered and consistent', says Cox
Council appoints panel, but records its objection
Hardy's Bay club seeks $100,000 to avoid closure
Clothing ready for distribution
Rotary club connects with English club in video call
Salvos asks for online donations for Red Shield Appeal
Open space and footpath projects continue
Powers of council chief to be reviewed
Chamber of Commerce joins in Buy Local campaign
Many gamblers helped by lockdown, says counsellor
Ideas wanted for Wagstaffe Square garden
Residents asked to check their eligibility for vouchers
Donations sought of study and care packages
CWA produce becomes raffle prizes
Tip re-opens
Aged care facilities receive extra funding
Stores to re-open
Council starts to respond to lack of toilet soap
Local planning panel is a win for developers
Deserving public acknowledgement
Rotary thanks patrons and sponsors
Approval for Woy Woy aged care $12 million alterations
Fundraising for rescue helicopter by kayak
Staff look over new aged care wing
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Fifth time lucky for Archibald Prize entrant?
Online access for religious and ethics education
Maintenance work carried out over Easter break
New water play park at Leisure Centre
Surf club uses grant to buy tractor
Roosters junior registration continues
Tribute to Pearl Beach fire brigade
Brigade formed early to fight fires at Pearl Beach
... and the fires continue

Many gamblers helped by lockdown, says counsellor

The coronavirus lockdown has helped many gamblers see that there is life beyond the pokies, according to gambling counsellor Mr Chris Davidson.

Mr Davidson has been offering counselling online since his office at Central Coast Gambling Services at the Peninsula Community Centre closed with the lockdown.

He said he dealt primarily with locals struggling with an addiction to poker machines.

"We received a huge spike in clients in crisis when the closure was first announced in March, but since then, we've had a lot of clients reporting that this reprieve has been a good thing for them," he said.

"It's helped them

He said that many had been breaking new ground in dealing with their addiction since the lockdown.

Mr Davidson said that what many of his clients were currently experiencing was akin to a detox, with many coming out the other side of it with a better understanding of themselves.

"We're seeing a lot of clients come to the realisation that they had other issues that led them to the pokies.

"Whether it was depression, anxiety or another mental health issue, the pokies were an escape, and without pokies, some are identifying why they became addicts," he said.

Mr Davidson believed that local addicts could get on top of their addiction if given more time to adjust to a world without pokies.

"As a behavioural addiction, gambling isn't like other addictions.

"Addicts become hooked on the feelings they associate with the way they gamble, and they can be very different.

"Someone addicted to the pokies isn't likely to suddenly take up betting for instance, because they invoke different feelings.

"That isn't to say that suddenly forcing an addict to go cold turkey won't cause them panic, but it's easier to overcome than say an alcohol addiction, where the addict can accept any kind of drink if they're desperate enough.

"That's not the case for gaming machine addicts at all," Mr Davidson said.

Mr Davidson said the nature of addiction was all-consuming, and he believed that many of his clients would return to gambling once venues reopened.

"For all the clients who have made breakthroughs, there's another just waiting to get back into it.

"I had one woman telling me about how all the money she saved was going to make for one big hit once she could get back in the chair.

"Others have turned to online gambling.

"At the end of the day, all we can do is support people to make better decisions and encourage those who have learned that they can survive without gambling," Chris said.

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