Problem Gambling Centre Helps to Problem Gamblers
26 September 2007
Monash University researchers are jointly leading a new initiative to find effective treatments for problem gambling and its causes.
The Melbourne Monash Problem Gambling and Treatment Centre is a $4.2 million partnership announced today between Monash University, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.
Centre joint director, Professor Shane Thomas said the new facility would research new approaches to treatment, develop better clinical practices, train new and existing staff working in gambler’s help services and establish postgraduate training in problem gambling treatment.
“There are currently many forms of treatments available. Most are via counselling-based services and family support programs, but other treatments can include cognitive and behavioural therapies and in some cases, medication,” Professor Thomas said.
“Our aim is to research the many treatments in use to determine which solutions work best, either independently or as a combination,” Professor Thomas said.
He said the role of the family doctor in helping problem gamblers was also a focus of the Centre’s work.
“We are finding those who seek help, often do so via their GP. So to this end, we expect to forge greater ties with medical practitioners to assist them in delivering advice and support and appropriate referral,” he said.
Monash University Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Larkins said the establishment of the Centre reflected the strong collaborations with researchers across the world.
”During the last decade, the team has established linkages with leading researchers and clinicians including those in the United States, Canada, People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. These collaborations will enable the conduct of robust and large scale clinical trials to test the therapies developed,” he said.
The centre is part of the Victorian government’s Taking Action on Problem Gambling strategy, which details a five-year plan that sets out an innovative framework to guide the development and implementation of a strategy to combat problem gambling in Victoria. Details of the strategy can be found by visiting the Department of Justice website.