District Health Authorities Launch Gambling & Substance Use Awareness Campaign

April 2, 2013

With funding from Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS) the Community Health Boards of the Colchester East Hants and Cumberland Health Authorities are today releasing a social marketing campaign aimed at bringing greater awareness of the supports and resources available to people seeking help with problem gambling behaviors or substance use.

The campaign, entitled Remove the Mask uses humorous and thought provoking imagery to put forward a serious message.  The campaign features some commonly recognized objects including a scratch-and-win lottery ticket, a drink of alcohol, and a VLT machine wearing masks and a tagline that states “Sometimes addictions are hard to recognize”.  The images were developed to help people think about their own gambling and substance use and ‘remove the mask’ from thinking their use may be more than a bad habit.

“The campaign was originally developed by Saskatchewan Health and additional funding from GANS and our local Community Health Boards helped us to include messages about problematic gambling behavior,” said Kathryn Fraser, project lead for the campaign. 

The 2007 Problem gambling Prevalence Study found that approximately 6.1% of adults in Nova Scotia were at any level of risk for problem gambling.  The study also found that residents in Northern Nova Scotia had higher purchasing patterns of break-open tickets compared to the rest of the province.

The Remove the Mask campaign will include regional newspaper advertising, targeted Facebook advertising, print posters and a user-friendly online website www.removethemask.ca that will promote supports and information for residents of Colchester, Cumberland and the Municipality of East Hants. 

“We would like to thank our campaign supporters, local Community Health Boards; Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia, and Trampoline Branding for their commitment to the project,” said Fraser, who also expressed gratitude to Saskatchewan Health for allowing their campaign to be adapted.


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