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Gambler’s Help Services

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The Beacon Strategy: Engaging problem gambling clients and their families through cross-sector collaboration

The Bouverie Centre was initially funded by the Office of Gaming and Racing, Department of Justice, in late 2009, and later by Victorian Responsible Gaming Foundation (VRGF), to assist Gambler’s Help (GH) services to:

  • Improve engagement of people with gambling problems, their families and other services
  • Build capacity to ensure innovative practices are developed, embedded and sustained in the long term
  • Establish closer working relationships with Mental Health (MH), Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD), and Family Services (FS) organisations

On the basis that front-line workers would be most likely to forge meaningful connections with each other if the relationship was built on a shared passion; and that this busy cohort would likely only take time away from direct service delivery if there was a sound clinical rationale for doing so, this particular Beacon project has sought to bring workers from GH, MH and AOD services together for the purposes of learning and sharing their experiences of implementing a new practice approach – one with mass appeal. Since the project commenced, many professionals from these diverse sectors have participated in joint professional development activities offered by The Bouverie Centre, including training in Single Session Family Consultations (an approach which seeks to promote better outcomes for both primary clients and others significantly connected to these individuals), booster workshops such as Managing Conflict in a Family Session, and monthly Practice Enquiry Groups (in which representatives discuss the clinical application and implementation of SSFC based on their own and other colleagues’ experiences). In addition to assisting clinicians to improve their practice and to develop a common practice language, these events have provided a structure for professionals from different sectors to meet one another and understand more about the work each sector undertakes.

In service of the funding agreement with VRGF, The Bouverie Centre also hosts and facilitates a regular forum for Portfolio Service Workers to meet and discuss their experiences in integrating problem gambling services within the broader system of care for problem gamblers and their families.

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