Embracing Narratives, Increasing Impact: PGAM 2024 and the Power of Every Story
As we prepare for Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) in 2024, I am excited to unveil this year’s theme: “Every Story Matters.” This theme serves as a powerful reminder that every narrative, battle, and triumph related to problem gambling is significant. Throughout March, our mission is to elevate these stories, fostering understanding and support within our communities. Together, let us amplify awareness, break down stigmas, and emphasize that when it comes to problem gambling, Every Story Matters.
Problem gambling affects people from all walks of life, and the impact extends beyond the individual to their families, friends, and communities. The stories of those who have faced the challenges of problem gambling are diverse, unique, and often filled with both struggles and triumphs. By recognizing the importance of these personal narratives, we aim to create a platform for individuals to share their experiences, fostering a sense of connection and hope.
Personal stories hold a unique power that transcends the confines of statistics and figures. While data may provide a broad understanding of the prevalence and quantitative impact of problem gambling, it is the personal narratives that allow others to relate, empathize, and, most importantly, understand the lived experiences of those impacted by problem gambling. The PGAM theme, “Every Story Matters,” encourages open conversations surrounding problem gambling, dispelling myths and breaking down stigmas.
Here are five tips to help PGAM participants effectively highlight personal stories and contribute to the “Every Story Matters” theme:
- Respect Boundaries and Privacy: When collaborating with an individual to share their story during PGAM (or anytime), it’s crucial to establish clear boundaries to respect their privacy and comfort levels. Before sharing any part of their story, have an open and honest conversation about what aspects they are comfortable disclosing. Clearly outline the boundaries of what will be shared and what will remain confidential. This ensures that the individual retains control over their narrative, promoting a trusting and respectful partnership in raising awareness for problem gambling.
- Encourage Authenticity: Encourage authenticity in narratives. Authenticity builds a connection between the storyteller and the audience. It is possible to offer authenticity while respecting privacy!
- Highlight Specific Moments: Rather than providing a comprehensive overview, focus on specific moments of change. By highlighting key events, you can provide a nuanced view of challenges faced and victories achieved. This not only adds depth to the narratives but also inspires hope and resilience among the audience.
- Present Diverse Perspectives: Featuring a diverse range of experiences associated with problem gambling, from recovery stories to impacted loved ones and even professionals who work in the field, we can build an environment where everyone feels comfortable seeking help and support without judgment.
- End on a Positive Note: Conclude shared stories with a positive takeaway, inspiring hope, offering advice, or suggesting actionable steps. Empower the audience with a message that fosters positive change and progress.
As we celebrate Problem Gambling Awareness Month 2024, please join us in our commitment to raising awareness, breaking down stigmas, and supporting those affected by problem gambling. By recognizing the significance of every story, we move closer to creating a society that embraces empathy, understanding, and inclusivity. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those touched by problem gambling because, truly, Every Story Matters.
Learn more about Problem Gambling Awareness month at www.NCPGambling.org/PGAM.
For questions contact