VANCOUVER, April 1 /CNW/ - Committed to promoting mental health in BC
communities, the BC Psychological Association would like to address the
current proposal put forth for a Casino expansion in downtown
Registered Psychologists in BC use proven and effective treatments to
treat mental health difficulties such as Pathological Gambling,
allowing individuals to experience renewed quality of life.
Pathological Gambling is a mental disorder listed in the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is characterized by constant
preoccupation with gambling and the need to gamble with increasing
amounts of money to experience the same levels of excitement as in the
past. These and other problematic symptoms and behaviours may persist
despite repeated attempts to stop and despite increasing risk to an
individual's finances, relationships and health and well-being.
Registered Psychologists are committed to health prevention efforts that
improve the mental health of British Columbians. In looking to
research, we see that few definitive conclusions can be drawn about the
long term effects of increased exposure to casinos on public health.
Studies do suggest that increased exposure leads to increased gambling
behaviour and a willingness by individuals to risk an increased amount
of money. Studies also suggest that exposure to gambling is associated
with some negative health outcomes in all age groups, though it is also
associated with positive health outcomes, including increased
socialization, in older adults. While more research must be done, what
is clear is that there remains a portion of the population for which
gambling becomes an addictive behaviour with multiple consequences on
health, well-being, and financial status.
The BC Psychological Association would encourage the Government of
British Columbia and the City of Vancouver to exercise caution
regarding the potential for serious impact of expanded gambling on
individuals, families and communities in BC. Continued support of
psychological treatment and health prevention efforts to address this
and other mental health problems needs to remain a priority.
With over 700 members across British Columbia we represent a major,
valuable resource. Since 1938, the BCPA has represented psychologists
in British Columbia. It is a voluntary body and is committed to
advancing the delivery and availability of Psychological Services along
with promoting the psychological well being of all British Columbians.
SOURCE British Columbia Psychological Association
For further information:
#204-1909 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC V6J 1Z3