Gambler’s Help Program (Geelong & Colac regions)

Support and counselling for gamblers and people around them  

For some of us, gambling can become a problem. A gambling problem impacts many areas of a person’s life, including the lives of their family, friends, work colleagues, venues, and the broader community.

If you are concerned about your gambling, our team at Bethany Community Support can work with you to:

  • assess your gambling
  • understand the changes you can make
  • take steps to regain control over your gambling
  • make and maintain changes that you feel good about
  • These services are free
  • Counselling is confidential
  • Call us on (03) 5278 8122 or fill out this form to find out how we can help you.

We also offer support to people who are affected by somebody else’s gambling. You can access therapeutic and financial counselling.

Bethany’s Gambler’s Help program includes:

Therapeutic counselling
Therapeutic counselling is a place where you can talk about your experiences of gambling in a safe, confidential, and non-threatening environment. You can choose to have your session face-to-face, on a video call, or over the phone.

Financial counselling
We have financial counsellors available to answer any questions you have about the financial aspect of your gambling, and help you access options to manage your finances. We can provide information about:

  • payment plans for bills
  • other debt recovery processes
  • government concessions and entitlements.

Community education

Bethany runs community education programs to:

  • increase awareness of the risks of gambling
  • support people to take steps to reduce the impacts of gambling
  • link people with support services like counselling and financial counselling.

School education

We also work in schools, providing education about gambling and gambling-related harm for:

  • students in Years 7 to 12 
  • teaching and welfare staff
  • parents and carers.

Our school education programs also include staff professional development programs.

Venue support

We work with gaming venue staff and management to develop and maintain responsible gambling environments. We provide two kinds of training:

  • Venue support training: training and educating venue staff, tailored to suit your individual venue, including free staff professional development opportunities.
  • Responsible Service of Gaming training: supporting gaming venues to meet and exceed the requirements of industry Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct.

How to access this service

Call our team during business hours on (03) 5278 8122 or email intake@bethany.org.au

For more information or to book into one of our Gambler’s Help programs for your community, school or venue: call 5278 8122.

FAQ

Is there any cost for the service?

No – our Gambler’s Help services are free and confidential.

Do I have to stop gambling to access services? 

All our services are available to people who continue to gamble. Bethany’s Gambler’s Help program uses a harm minimisation approach to help you control or stop your gambling habits.

Who can access gamblers help services, including counselling? 

Gambler’s Help is available to all people impacted by gambling, including family members, friends, employers and carers.

What does financial counselling do? 

Speaking with a financial counsellor can guide you to make financial decisions that best serve you. Counsellors offer practical suggestions and tools to manage your finances, and work alongside you to make the changes you want. Financial counselling can also help you feel better, and more in control. 

Does the service have access to interpreters?

Yes. If English is not your preferred language, you can ask to use an interpreter.

More Gambler’s Help information and resources:

Call the Gambler’s Help 24-hour helpline on 1800 858 858.

Visit the Gambling Help Online website for counselling and support services.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation provides a range of support services.

Community education

Is there a cost involved in booking a community gambling education program?

No, there is no cost involved. All of our programs are free. 

Can Bethany design a professional development program on gambling awareness for my organisation or business? 

Yes. We can design a design professional development that suits your organisation’s needs, with practical resources and pathways to support services.

Can Bethany assist with Gambling Harm Policy Development?

Yes, we can assist in developing a policy tailored to your needs.

Are there opportunities to collaborate with other organisations across Barwon and the Great South Coast region?

Yes, our team can collaborate on projects associated in a variety of areas, including youth, Low socio-economic/disadvantaged, and family violence. Reach out to us if you would like to chat further about an opportunity. 

Schools program

Is there a cost involved for schools to book and have a presentation delivered?

There is no cost involved, our programs are free. 

Are presentations delivered online or face-to-face?

All presentations can be delivered face-to-face (COVID-19 restrictions permitting) or online via any platforms used by your organisation including Zoom, Skype and Teams.

How will a gambling harm presentation benefit my school? 

Students, teaching and wellbeing staff will be more aware of the risks and harms associated with gambling. They’ll also learn how to find and access support services like telephone hotlines, online forums and counselling. 

Venue support training

Do venues have to pay for the training?

No, venue support training is a free service. 

Can Responsible Service of Gambling and venue support training modules be delivered online or face to face?

All presentations can be delivered face-to-face (COVID-19 restrictions permitting) or online via any platforms used by your organisation including Zoom, Skype and Teams.

The Gambler’s Help Community Education, School Program and Venue Support Programs are funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.