February 27, 2019

New partnership to tackle gambling harm in emerging communities.

Last year, Victorian’s lost $5.48 billion to gambling, with residents of Hume specifically accounting for over $109 million of that loss.

Financial stability is a key component to feeling comfortable, and is a Launchpad to thriving in Australia. Gambling losses erode trust, and opportunity for entire families.

Spectrum’s continuously evolving service offering now includes two Gambler’s Help Counsellors based on-site in our Dallas office every Monday, available for free appointments. Norma Caldwell is the resident Therapeutic Counsellor and Kelly Preece, the Financial Counsellor.

I recently had the opportunity to sit with both Norma and Kelly to discuss this new partnership with Spectrum.

Norma and Kelly are passionate and dedicated to assisting their client’s make better decisions in order to change the outcome of their life journeys. Their enthusiasm and genuine humanitarian nature shines through all they do.

For Norma, Australia’s gambling crisis evoked a passion in her. She is driven by a vision of success for every client who chooses to seek help. Kelly is motivated to help clients relieve financial stress and to empower them to take control of their own finances.

They explained how they engage with their clients, taking a person centred approach, at times through interpreters. “We listen to their individual stories to understand personal triggers, the impact of gambling on their life and lives of loved ones”.

Norma works with clients to set individual goals and outline preventative strategies. Kelly’s focus is advocating relief from debts on the client’s behalf. This may include eliminating debt, recovery assistance programs and protecting their assets.

Services are tailored specifically to clients by working with interpreters and crafting culturally appropriate responses. Triggers for gambling often range from feelings of isolation/boredom or can be a result of trauma/mental health issues.

“There is unfortunately a lot of stigma attached to this learned behaviour, even more so in certain cultures” Norma reports, and goes on to add, “Clients are always relieved to finally have a conversation about it.”

All appointments are free, private and confidential. They are available to both people experiencing harm from gambling and those affected by another person’s gambling.

To book an appointment, please contact Gambler’s Help North West on 1300 133 445.

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