Refer to Gambler's Help Southern
Gambler’s Help Southern (GHS) is the specialist problem gambling service for southern metropolitan Melbourne and the local contact for health and community service providers. GHS services of particular relevance for this sector include:
- Counselling – individual, couples/family and group (subject to demand)
- Financial counselling
- Secondary consultation for professionals
- Health information resources, including self-help materials
Enquiries about these services can be directed to GHS Intake on 9575 5353, Monday to Friday, between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm. Services are free of charge.
For immediate assistance with a gambling problem:
- freecall Gambler's Help Line on 1800 858 858 (24 hours, 7 days), or
- visit Gambling Help Online
GHS participates in both S2S and Connectingcare e-referral systems. Where appropriate, the program also has specific referral protocols e.g. with agencies outside of the primary health system.
Currently, the majority of referrals to GHS are described as “self-referrals”. These often include:
- callers directed via Gambler’s Helpline, the statewide, freecall telephone service.
- instances where a health professional has played a key role in facilitating the contact e.g. by identifying the issue and providing the telephone number, encouragement and support and/or physical access to a telephone.
All people referred to GHS, self-referred or otherwise, are assessed by GHS Intake prior to an appointment being made.
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Intake – First Contact at Gambler’s Help Southern
Telephone: (03) 9575 5353
Fax: (03) 9570 2725
Intake is staffed from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday. A dedicated voicemail system is available for messages.
Suitability for service: Each caller is assessed for suitability for service. Anyone in immediate crisis e.g. high risk of suicide, homeless or in need of emergency financial aid, is referred to the most appropriate service. The person/service is advised to recontact Intake for a counselling appointment once priority needs have been met.
Psychosocial Assessment: A psychosocial assessment is completed with each person, including gambling history, financial issues, social context, other significant issues and significant psychological symptoms.
Risk Assessment: A detailed risk assessment covers information regarding past history and immediate risk of suicidality, as well as indicators of chronic suicidality.
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Mental Health Referrals: Subject to GHS assessment of the caller’s mental health and suicidality, GHS may request a mental health referral from the health professional who is managing the person’s mental health. This two-page document requests information about the person’s mental health and includes a consent form giving the GHS counsellor and the mental health provider permission to exchange relevant information.
Gambler’s Help Southern is not a crisis service. However, at times a caller in crisis may be assessed as appropriate for counselling on the condition that there is another professional (e.g. GP, Case Manager, Psychiatrist) supporting them with their immediate needs. The mental health referral system ensures that the client receives coordinated care.
First appointment details / waiting list , as appropriate: GHS currently operates from14 locations. The waiting list at these locations can vary. An earlier appointment may be available if the client is flexible about the time and/or location of the appointment. All information about the first appointment is provided to the client during the intake call.
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