New Statewide Gambling Therapy Service Launch
Dr Malcolm Battersby, Ms. Jane Oakes, Dr Peter Harvey
at the opening of the new Gambling Therapy Service at Salisbury
The expanded State-wide intervention program targeting problem gamblers was launched on Friday October 19th by Families and Communities Minister Jay Weatherill, with a new service opening in Salisbury.
The Statewide Gambling Therapy Service is funded by the Gamblers’ Rehabilitation Fund - a joint initiative of the State Government, Australian Hotels Association (SA), Clubs SA and SkyCity and is run by the Southern Adelaide Health Service in partnership with Flinders University. The Service will receive annual funding of $1.34 million from the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.
“This program will provide therapy for problem gamblers and their families to help overcome the harmful effects of problem gambling”, Mr Weatherill said. “They will receive clinical therapy, including comprehensive assessment, treatment, support, information and referral to other services.”
Mr Weatherill said the Flinders program was chosen for expansion State-wide because of its proven success rate. “In 2006, 85 percent of people who completed the program successfully overcame their problem gambling,” he said.
The service will be run by professionally qualified and trained staff who will work with over 400 new clients this year to assist them to overcome the harmful effects of problem gambling. A further site will be established in the western metropolitan area and an outreach service will be opened in the southern area. The program will also provide a visiting service to eight regional centres including Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, the Riverland, Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge.
Dr Malcolm Battersby acknowledged the Minister for his support of the expanded programme and thanked members of his therapy team for their contribution to establishing the new service. Former problem gambler Elsie Cairns, one of the success stories from the existing service at Flinders Medical Centre, spoke about the benefits of the Flinders service for herself and others she is now assisting to overcome their gambling problems through her role as a consumer consultant.
“I would like to give hope to problem gamblers and their families,” she said. “You can beat this powerful and harmful addiction and get back to living a happy and productive life. It’s never too late to seek help.”
Statewide Gambling Therapy Service:
Southern Metro and Rural: 82044779
Northern Metro: 81824911
Ben Riley, Jane Oakes, Minister Weatherill & Paula Redpath
Dr Malcolm Battersby acknowledging the Minister for his support
and thanking members of the therapy team for their contribution to the new service.
Elsie Cairns in discussion with Minister Weatherill at the launch