Help for families in gambling battle

Posted 22 Mar 2023

The Southern Adelaide Local Health Network’s (SALHN) Statewide Gambling Therapy Service provides psychological therapies to individuals with gambling addictions. 

Now, with the help of a SALHN Enquiry Grant, Team Leader Dr Ben Riley is turning his attention to how the service can support family members to deliver treatment to gamblers who refuse help.

The study will focus on the feasibility of training and counselling family members or friends to deliver some ‘contingency’ treatment in situations where individuals with gambling problems are in denial of their problem or refuse to seek help.

“While many gambling help services offer general support to families of individuals with gambling problems, for the most part they are focused on providing treatment and support to individuals with gambling problems who ask for help, with little attention on providing evidence-based strategies to support families of gamblers who are resistant to help,” Dr Riley explains.

“This study will look at integrating some family-based contingency management intervention for families of non-help-seeking individuals with gambling problems, in the hope it can make a positive impact on the wellbeing of family members, reduce the amount of time and money gambled, and motivate the gambler to seek help.”

The project is one of 23 exciting new research projects to share in the $1 million SALHN Enquiry Grant round, thanks to your generous support, and a collaboration between Flinders Foundation and The Hospital Research Foundation Group.


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