Ben Hamilton

Kickin' the Punt

Ben Hamilton

I was diagnosed with PTSD and medically discharged from the Australian Defence Force. I have had two suicide attempts, and been fortunate to have free mental health care through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Alongside this I acknowledged that I had a severe gambling addiction in 2016 with the help of my wife. I have had several wake-up moments, but previously always went back to gambling. My last punt was on the 9th of December, 2019.

I decided that I wasn't going to gamble again, and my wife and I founded Kickin’' The Punt (KTP) in early 2020. KTP is a gambling harm support group which keeps me honest and accountable and gives me a place to remain focused.

In my experience, there are not enough gambling counsellors/therapists who are adequately trained to deal with complex gambling addictions. I have a great psychologist. I have good support through my wife and my friends. I still struggled for the better part of 4 years with gambling addiction, even with my unique position regarding treatment.

I believe the combination of talking to people with lived experience in conjunction with professional support is the key to defeating any gambling addiction. I won't ever gamble again. I don't know why it's different this time, besides KTP, but I know in my heart that I am finished with gambling.