Do you have a client that has identified as being financially affected by gambling?
Gambler's Help financial counselling and referring clients into the Gambler's Help program
Gambler's Help provide face-to-face and telephone counselling and financial counselling services and has around 100 locations throughout the metropolitan area and across regional Victoria. For further information and advice please contact your local agency listed below which can link you to a site which is convenient for your client.
You or your client can also contact the Gamblers Help Line for information and support on 1800 858 858. The help line does not provide financial counselling but can refer your client to their local Gambler's Help financial counselling service. Gambler's Help Line is available 24 hours per day and all services are free and confidential.
Alleviating an immediate financial crisis can be an important step in allowing your client to address their underlying gambling behaviour.
What does financial counselling involve?
Gambler's Help financial counsellors can help your client to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities in relation to:
- debt recovery
- payment of bills, and
- government concessions and entitlements.
Making referrals to Gambler's Help
Many clients may feel uncomfortable about calling Gambler's Help services. As a health and welfare professional you can encourage them to make contact with the service by reassuring them that the service is free and confidential, and that it is connected to mainstream health and welfare services.
Consider sitting with your client while they make the call to Gambler's Help if this makes them feel more comfortable and supported. It is also important to follow up on your referral to see how things went.
If your client requires continued support through your service for other issues, try to work cooperatively with Gambler's Help services as much as possible.
What if my client declines a referral to Gambler's Help services?
If your client does not want to attend Gambler's Help services, then your local Gambler's Help providers can still provide you with tools and information to help the client. This allows the client to maintain their primary relationship with you, whilst also receiving a specialist gambling service.
Contact your local Gambler's Help service to explore the most appropriate response.
Recovery Assistance Program
Gambling related harm often has a significant impact on the financial stability of the person gambling and their families.
Gambler's Help can provide material and financial assistance to individuals and families for essential living needs when problem gambling has resulted in financial crisis. The objectives of the Recovery Assistance Program are to provide assistance:
- in a way that does not facilitate or subsidise gambling behaviour
- where gamblers and their families are assessed as being in genuine need
- that will contribute to essential living needs, and
- to support individuals and families to recover from the impact of problem gambling.
Only registered Gambler's Help clients are eligible for the Recovery Assistance Program.