Gambling trial set for Ballarat

October 21, 2021 BY

Intervention: BCH CEO Sean Duffy, Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle and research and health promotion coordinator Deb Greenslade are striving to help gamblers at risk. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

A NEW screening program that aims connect those affected by problem gambling with support and treatment will be trialled by Ballarat Community Health and Cafs.

The 12-month pilot beginning in early-2022 will include training and the use of gambling harm assessment 1 – a new screening tool, to help not only those addicted to gambling who are also at risk of co-occurring health problems, but the people close to them.

Ballarat Community Health CEO Sean Duffy said his team welcomes the opportunity to broaden their intervention capabilities.

“Gambling harm is real and evident in our community,” he said.

“It is imperative we as health professionals work with our clients to recognise this, and offer intervention appropriately, and with compassion.”

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle launched the program on Tuesday morning, having personally been touched by gambling harm.

“People experiencing gambling harm often feel a terrible stigma,” she said.

“This pilot will create more opportunities for people to reach out for help, in the safe environment of your healthcare provider.

“This pilot is very close to my heart, as it began with a conversation with a colleague, Deb Greenslade, at Ballarat Community Health. It means that more people can talk, share and support.”

The pilot has been designed by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation with psychiatric and gambling harm experts. It could be implemented more broadly in Victoria post-trial.

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO Shane Lucas thanked Ms Settle, BCH and Cafs for their “commitment and expertise.”

Gambling Harm Awareness Week runs until Sunday, 24 October.

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