Awareness and prevention
Gambling problems and mental illness frequently occur together. Approximately three quarters of people at high risk of experiencing gambling harm also have a mental illness, most commonly a mood disorder such as depression.
Research shows people seeking help for gambling harm are often experiencing other problems, such as anxiety or substance use issues. A 2015 study found almost three in four people receiving help for gambling were experiencing co-occurring or ‘comorbid’ conditions. Conversely, clients of other services may be experiencing harm from gambling. A recent foundation-funded study reported that six per cent of clients of Victorian mental health services experience severe gambling problems, a rate eight times higher than the general population.
We work with partners across the health and human services sectors to continuously improve service integration and referral processes so we can provide Victorians seeking help with as seamless an experience as possible.
This year we continued to fund specialist mental health service Alfred Health to provide expert consultancy to Gambler’s Help agencies and to facilitate referrals to local mental health services. We have increased funding to enable Alfred Health to provide services in regional and rural areas and to deliver a mental health webinar series in 2017–18. Read more