Four community groups will receive nearly $200,000 from Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia to fund important projects that will help support Nova Scotians impacted by gambling.
“Gambling is deeply rooted in our society. But people don’t think about it very much,” said Ross Unger, co-founder of Dramatic Changes Artist Society, one of the successful grant recipients.”People sometimes think ‘oh, none of my friends gamble.’ There’s a lot of stigma around gambling.”
Dramatic Changes Artist Society will use the grant to work with seniors, students and others to develop performances about gambling and its impact on society. By putting it into a story with characters that people can relate to, they hope to make people think more about gambling and its potential impact.
The complete list of grant winners is as follows:
— The Silent Voices of Gambling: The Association of Black Social Workers will develop a talk show series featuring African Nova Scotians who have been harmed by gambling and will offer ways to help. The four-month series will be available online and aired on Eastlink Community TV. Total: $49,010.
— Dramatic Changes: The Dramatic Changes Artist Society will work with local community groups in Halifax to create songs, stories, videos, posters, and other artistic performances about gambling. Participants from the community groups will choose the medium that works best for them. For example, a musical for seniors or a video game for students. Total: $48,822.
— Online self-guided program for teens and young adults: Dalhousie University’s Department of Community Health and Epidemiology will adapt an existing online program for people with depression to be used for those harmed by gambling. Research shows that people harmed by gambling are often also experiencing depression. Total: $49,996.
— Kings Community Action Group on Gambling: This group will work with non-profits, community groups, citizens, business and governments to come up with a community approach to better support those harmed by gambling and create change. Total: $50,000.
Grant applications were evaluated by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. Applicants had to show how their project would improve community networks, offer programs that could help one or more groups at risk, or prevent stigma and shame around gambling.
“Gambling can affect us all, from individuals to families and communities,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “I’d like to thank the community groups involved in these four projects for their expertise and dedication to helping Nova Scotians harmed by gambling.”
Grants are effective for one year from the date they are awarded.