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Useful web resources

Gambling Support Program

Provides a public health response to the risks and harms of gambling through community education, community grants, provision of services for people affected by gambling, policy development and research.

http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/gambling

Know Your Odds

A website addressing gamblers’ misunderstandings about how commercial gambling works.

http://www.knowyourodds.net.au

Gambling Help Online

Information, resources, help and support

http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au

Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission

Tasmanian industry data

http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/liquor-and-gaming/about-us/tasmanian-liquor-and-gaming-commission

Australian Government Department of Social Services – Communities and Vulnerable People

Information on the Commonwealth Government’s responses to problem gambling in Australia.

https://www.dss.gov.au/communities-and-vulnerable-people/programmes-services/gambling

Australian Government – Australian Institute of Family Studies – Australian Gambling Research Centre

Publications and resources for policy-makers, researchers and professionals in the gambling area.

https://aifs.gov.au/agrc

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

Research, resources

https://responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au

References

Productivity Commission 2010, Gambling, Report no. 50, Canberra.

Acil Allen Consulting, Deakin University, Central Queensland University And The Social Research Centre. 2017. Fourth Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling In Tasmania: Report 1. Tasmanian Department Of Treasury and Finance, Hobart.

Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission Annual Report 2016-17

Know Your Odds

Delfabbro, Paul, Anna Thomas, and Andrew Armstrong. “Observable Indicators and Behaviors for the Identification of Problem Gamblers in Venue Environments.”Journal of Behavioral Addictions 5.3 (2016): 419–428. PMC. Web. 5 June 2018.

McQuade, Anne and Gill, Peter. The role of loneliness and self-control in predicting problem gambling behaviour [online]. Gambling Research: Journal of the National Association for Gambling Studies (Australia), Vol. 24, No. 1, May 2012

Gambling Help Online – Understanding Gambling: Impact on Health: Gambling and alcohol

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation – Prevention projects for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation – Background Paper. Risk factors for problem gambling: environmental, geographic, social, cultural, demographic, socio-economic, family and household. 2015

University of Tasmania Faculty of Health: Centre for Rural Health 2018 – Occurrence and Correlates of Gambling Behaviour among International UTAS Students, A report commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania

Dickins, M., & Thomas, A. (2016). Gambling in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities in Australia (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 7). Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Hing, N., & Breen, H. (2014). Indigenous Australians and gambling (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 2). Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre

At Odds: Young Australians Gamble “Hard and Fast”

Thomas, S. and Jackson, A. (2008). Report to beyondblue: Risk and Protective Factors, Depression and Comorbidities in Problem Gambling, Monash University and University of Melbourne; Department of Human Services (2009). Because mental health matters: Victorian Mental Health Reform Strategy 2009-19, Mental Health and Drugs Division, Department of Human Services, Melbourne.

Interactive Gambling (November 2014). Australian Gambling Research Centre Discussion Paper – Gainsbury, S.  et al

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation – Gen Bet: Has Gambling Gatecrashed our Teens? 2017

Australian Productivity Commission (1999) Australian Gambling Industries, Report No.10, AusInfo, Canberra

Gambling Motivated Fraud in Australia 2011 – 2016 Warfield and Associates

Section

6How to help

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Doctors and suitably qualified mental health professionals can provide clinical interventions and self help information.  Health and community workers can provide referral information about counselling, including financial counselling, and other help and support offered by Gamblers Help and other services, and self help information.

Talking about gambling can be very hard for people struggling with a gambling problem. Shame and the stigma of problem gambling mean communication must be done with care and sensitivity.

Use non-judgemental communication. Listen and help people identify their own solutions and help them to implement them, rather than providing advice. Provide referral information.

People who have problems with gambling often find a way to stop gambling, or get it under control. This change can include the removal or reduction of the stresses that contributed to the problematic gambling or with the support of friends and family, professional therapeutic counselling, and sometimes, through being excluded from gambling venues.

Rates of seeking help from health professionals are low. This can be due to people finding help with family and friends, or with the aid of online information and resources. It can also be because of barriers like the stigma surrounding problem gambling, and feelings of guilt and shame associated with having a gambling problem. People may also be in denial of the problem.

People with gambling problems may have been struggling to control their gambling for years before they are motivated to talk to someone who can help.

Some people experiencing difficulties with gambling address the issues themselves. Providing information about self help resources can be a good way to help them get started. These resources include guidance around  goal setting and finding the circuit breakers to assist curb gambling urges.

Providing information about self help resources can be a good way to help

'Liz’ talks about how counselling has helped her get her life back on track.

‘Mary’ talks about her future goals and how a counsellor, doctor and psychologist helped her give up gambling.

General practitioners

GPs can access a comprehensive learning module, the ‘Gambling Assistance Program’ about problem gambling at gplearning.racgp.org.au, search for gambling. The module includes detailed information about intervention options for GPs.  Phone RACGP 1800 284 789

Mental health workers

For mental health workers, the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is a detailed screen and may be suitable to use within client sessions. It can also be used as a self-measurement tool. The PGSI consists of nine items and captures both gambling behaviour (e.g., “Have you gone back another day to try to win the money you lost?”) and the adverse consequences of gambling (e.g., “Has your gambling caused you any health problems including stress or anxiety?”). Items are rated by participants on a 4-point scale, where 0 = (Never) and 3 = (Almost always). Scores are summed across the whole scale and ranged from 0 to 27.

‘Wendy’ talks about the difficulties of moving on from her gambling problems.

Social workers

Social workers work in a variety of settings and are often the first point of contact with someone who has a gambling problem. Social workers work in community health centres, child protection and family support services, schools, youth justice settings, and disability and aged care services.

Social workers can identify if their client is presenting with a particular issue but unless they have clinical qualifications they cannot diagnose or treat their client for problem gambling.

It can be difficult to identify if your client has a problem with gambling as they are most likely presenting with another issue related to a social, financial, legal or emotional problem. People with a gambling problem do not tend to seek help independently until they have had a gambling problem for a long time – even years.

If you suspect your client may have a gambling problem a simple question such as “Have you ever had an issue with your gambling?” is a good place to start. The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is a useful tool for social workers to determine the severity of their client’s gambling and whether to refer clients for specialist help. (See the section for mental health workers for more info on the PGSI).

Community settings

Staff and volunteers in community organisations such as neighbourhood houses may be in contact with community members experiencing gambling related problems.

Community organisations employ staff and engage volunteers across a range of professional qualifications, training and work experience. The type of response or intervention by a staff member/volunteer for a person who may have a problem should reflect the staff member’s/volunteer’s level of qualification and experience.

Community members may mention a social, financial, legal and/or emotional problem to a staff member which may be related to a gambling issue.

Be mindful that asking a person about their gambling can be confronting. They may have strong emotional reactions. Be careful and respectful, supportive and non-judgemental, and use your discretion about when and whether to raise the issue. A simple question such as “Have you ever had an issue with your gambling” may be effective with some community members. Discretely providing information about Gamblers Help (see below) may be helpful.

Don’t feel you have to ask the person about their gambling. The fact they are engaged with your community organisation is important. It can help prevent further isolation and loneliness. Trusting others may be a significant thing for people with gambling or other problems and maintaining this trust may be an important protective factor. Sharing your awareness of resources and referral information in a gentle and non-confronting way could be useful.

Gamblers Help

Free and confidential services for people with gambling problems and those affected by them.

Online

Gamblers Helpline Tasmania provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to anonymous support services including:

  • Gambling information and resources
  • Self-assessment and self-help tools
  • Counselling via email or chat.

Phone

Gamblers Helpline Tasmania: 1800 858 858

Gambling Helpline Tasmania offers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to advice, information, telephone counselling and referrals to appropriate support providers.

In Person

Gamblers Help counsellors are located in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie and other centres. In person services include:

  • Personal and family support
  • Support groups
  • Access to Self Exclusions through the Tasmanian Gambling Exclusion Scheme. This scheme provides a means for patrons to be excluded from nominated gaming activities and venues.

These services are delivered by:

Anglicare Tasmania 1800 243 232

Relationships Australia Tasmania 1300 364 277

Other help providers

Gambling Help Online

Provides 24/7 counselling, support and information services to people affected by gambling.

1800 858 858

https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au

Gamblers Help Youthline

An advice and support service for under 25s.

1800 262 376

https://gamblershelp.com.au/get-help/under-25s

ReachOut

An online mental health organisation for young people and their parents.

https://au.reachout.com

Headspace

Provides early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds.

https://www.headspace.org.au

Health Direct

Provides health advice and information on a range of health issues including gambling addiction.

1800 262 376

http://www.healthdirect.gov.au

Lifeline

Provides crisis support and suicide prevention.

13 11 14

https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/problem-gambling

Suicide Call Back Service

Provides immediate, free 24/7 telephone, video and online professional counselling to people who are suicidal or are affected by suicide.

1300 659 467

https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/

National Debt Helpline

Provides free financial counselling.

1800 007 007

http://www.ndh.org.au