The Labour Government of Australia, led by Premier Daniel Andrews, has rolled out a trial programme for people who are dealing with the negative consequences of gambling.
The programme, which is especially aimed at residents of Victoria State’s city of Ballarat, involves tailored treatment and support services for everyone experiencing gambling-related harm. The pilot trial programme was officially launched by Melissa Horne, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Michaela Settle, Member for Buninyong, and Juliana Addison, Member for Wendouree. It is aimed at providing applied health professionals with a new way of monitoring patients suffering from gambling harm in order to determine the best possible treatment for their problem gambling.
Ms Horne, who is the one responsible for the Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation in the country, shared that everyone experiences gambling-related harm differently, so it was extremely important for tailored treatment options to be available for their long-term recovery. As explained by the Minister, this is exactly what the newly-unveiled tool provides.
The pilot is set to raise local people’s awareness of the potential harms of gambling and to provide better training for healthcare practitioners who specialise in the mental health, alcohol, and other drug sectors and are trying to educate and treat the most vulnerable people suffering from gambling-related harm.
Newly-Unveiled Programme Aimed at Removing Social Stigma and Raising Healthcare Professionals’ Awareness
As mentioned above, the pilot programme has been specially developed to improve the access to education and treatment of people seeking professional help to deal with their gambling addiction and the negative consequences associated with it, such as mental health issues, work and relationship problems, etc. The programme has been created as a result of some feedback from the Gambler’s Help service that is funded through the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF).
The trial will aim at improving gambling-related effects for the Ballarat community, with the findings set to be used to inform future programmes that could be rolled out at a later stage in the state of Victoria.
Michaela Settle, Member for Buninyong, commented on the initiative, describing gambling-related harm as a complex issue that is deteriorated even more by the fact that it usually co-exists with other negative factors or conditions that affect the overall quality of life of people who are affected by it. The pilot programme is expected to make it easier for local people, who are exactly in such a situation, to access all the services they need in order to deal with the harm and make things better.
Juliana Addison, Member for Wendouree, further noted that the aforementioned pilot scheme is aimed at making sure that local people would be able to get the necessary help by raising the awareness of competent health professionals and removing the gambling-related stigma that often acts as a barrier for gambling addicts to seek help.