Innovative prevention initiatives tackling gambling harm in Victoria
[Title slide: Not a dollar more; Banyule Community Health Service]
Shane Rogers: Hello all, welcome to the very first episode of this exciting new podcast series 'not a dollar more'. My name is Shane Rogers and this is Australia's first podcast series dedicated to helping people who want to make changes to their gambling.
It's fantastic that people have an opportunity to be able to speak to somebody that's gone through it. The day to day struggles, the struggles with not being able to afford to put petrol in your car, all these things that people can't talk to other people about, I think this podcast is going to be great for.
Rachel Paterson: One of the most rewarding aspects of working on this podcast series is being able to work on something that is different to a lot of the other services and help and support that's out there at the moment for gambling harm. We can capture a whole bunch of stories and have them available to everyone. It's really about inspiring people to be able to think about what's happening to them to kind of go, oh, that's possibly me, I hadn't really thought about it. The beauty of that medium is that you can access them anywhere, they're free. I think the podcasts could definitely give people hope. Hope that things could change for them.
[Title slide: Together we do better; Community Houses Association of the Outer Eastern Suburbs]
Heather McTaggart: Neighbourhood houses are a great place for people to connect when they feel socially isolated. It's almost a third place, not their home or their workplace, they can come and connect to the varied activities that we offer, feel safe and secure and make new friends.
Sometimes people need to reflect on their behaviours and having a conversation with someone can trigger a support mechanism. Through this project our staff and volunteers will be trained to recognise the signs of gambling harm and to refer people on to services or connect them into community activities.
We're all embracing the opportunity to raise awareness of gambling related harm and provide alternatives to our communities. The CHAOS network with our 30 houses recognises the impact that gambling has on our communities so we were very proud to be part of this project.
[Title slide: Family wellbeing program; Mallee District Aboriginal Services]
Darlene Thomas: We've been delivering the family wellbeing program in Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang and that has been totally well received. When people are talking in groups about topics that are a little bit sensitive, or a little bit of an uncomfortable topic—once somebody starts to talk about it. The gambling, responsible gambling and gambling harm, then others are able to say, you know what? I think I have a gambling problem. So it's being able to actually, bring out the conversation, in a positive way. Without judgement.
For the elders, definitely the yarning circle model mimics the kind of social environment they'd have at bingo and the conversations that are coming out of it, although they are serious conversations, especially around gambling, drug addiction, mental health—it's easy for them to talk. I've not seen the elders so engaged and so able to talk and share.
Always, those topics that have a lot of stigma attached to them—you need to approach that with humour. Being able to talk about serious issues with humour enables things to actually not seem so bad and it makes people more comfortable to share.
Aboriginal people share stories and we have for thousands and thousands of years and for that reason, you learn more by sharing your story than telling people how they should do this or how they should fix that.
[Closing slide: Special thanks to: Banyule Community Health Service, Community Houses Association of the Outer Eastern Suburbs, Mallee District Aboriginal Services]