The Andrews Labor Government is helping more Victorians experiencing gambling harm and mental health issues access critical help services across the state.
Alfred Health’s Mental Health and Gambling Program will receive a $1.2 million funding boost over three years from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. This will strengthen the model of care for clients and provide them with better health outcomes.
The program provides training, support and consultation to Gambler’s Help front-line staff, assisting clients with complex mental health needs, and is operated by qualified clinicians with a background in psychiatry, psychology and social work.
Gambling harm and mental illness frequently occur together. Approximately three-quarters of people seeking treatment for a gambling problem also have a mental illness, most commonly a mood disorder such as depression.
In 2017–18, participation in services for people experiencing harm from gambling and mental health concerns improved significantly, with referrals from Gambler’s Help to Alfred Health increasing by 52 per cent.
The Mental Health and Gambling Harm Program provides:
- Face-to-face support in rural clinics for Gambler’s Help clients presenting with complex mental health challenges
- Specialist training for allied health professionals on gambling screening, assessment and treatment
- Liaison between Gambler’s Help delivery partners and local mental health services
- Providing secondary consultation and psychiatric assessment services for Gambler’s Help clients
- Psychiatric registrar training in gambling harm.
The funding is part of the government’s $153 million investment over four years for projects tackling gambling harm and will allow Alfred Health to continue to deliver and expand its services.
More information on the program is available at www.responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz
“This critical funding will ensure Alfred Health can continue its outstanding work supporting people presenting with mental health and gambling issues.”
“We’re investing in programs that help break down barriers to support and ensure people receive the help they need, when they need it.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We know gambling addiction can have a terrible impact on people’s mental health, as well as their family and friends – this program will go a long way in helping them get the best support when they need it most.”