Problem Gambling Screening in AOD and Mental Health Populations: A Project of Lives Lived Well

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held next month over Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at the QT Gold Coast.

Mr Gerard Moloney, Manager Clinical Services (gambling Services) at Lives Lived Well joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Problem Gambling Screening in AOD and Mental Health Populations: A Project of Lives Lived Well’.

Abstract

Shame, secrecy and fear of being stigmatized are characteristics of people with problem gambling (PG) behaviours. They rarely and reluctantly seek treatment for their PG. Rather they seek help for other conditions such as alcohol and drugs (AOD) or for mental illness but do not tell clinicians about their gambling or the impact of it. Clinicians inadvertently support this secrecy by not asking about PG, not knowing how problematic it is or perceiving that the client has enough to deal with already.

People are regularly screened for comorbid conditions when they enter a health or community service. While the literature recognises the high rate of comorbidity for people with PG behaviours in AOD and mental health populations and recommends screening, currently there is no routine screening for PG in AOD and mental health services. Thus, PG remains unaddressed. The literature suggests this hidden factor impacts the effectiveness of treatment and service plans and lapse/relapse situations for clients.

This presentation outlines how Lives Lived Well (LLW) have established a process of screening for PG among people presenting for AOD and mental health services, and the brief intervention and referral pathways that are available. It explores PG’s relationship with AOD and mental health conditions; characteristics of people with problem gambling behaviours; at risk groups and the use of the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) as a screening tool. Initial results show 28% of those screened experience PG and a further 10% are in the moderate risk of harm category. Strategies to address PG will be discussed.

Biography

Gerard is a Manager Clinical Services (Gambling Services) at Lives Lived Well (LLW) where he manages the Problem Gambling Screening Project. He has 10 years working as manager of the North Queensland Gambling Help Service, Townsville. He has a Degree in Psychology (honours), and qualifications in philosophy, theology and management. In his current position, he provides workshop sessions on the use of the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) as a screening tool to assess gambling behaviours in at risk populations which includes those seeking help in the AOD and Mental Health sectors.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference please visit the conference website.

 

 

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