The Peer Connection service is provided by volunteers who have experienced their own gambling related issues and successfully resolved them, or who have lived with somebody who has had gambling issues. They use their own experiences to support others. It is not a counselling program or crisis service.
The program provides an opportunity for you to talk with someone who understands what you are going through. Someone who ‘has been there too’.
How can a Peer Connection volunteer help me?
- They have been where you are and can share their story with you
- They will listen and offer support
- They will offer you information and ideas for you to consider and try out, that might help you.
- They are non judgmental because they have been there too
- They understand how it feels to lapse, and will continue to offer encouragement
- Celebrate your achievements and remind you of your progress
- Demonstrate that recovery is possible.
The volunteers are not counsellors so you may want to see a counsellor and speak to a volunteer for additional support and ideas.
Why Peer Connection?
It is often difficult for someone with a gambling problem to talk about it with their families or friends. They may feel embarrassed, guilty, ashamed or confused about why they gamble. Talking with a Peer Connection volunteer guarantees that you will not be judged or ridiculed. Our volunteers have been in similar circumstances and want to share what they have learnt to help you while you work towards achieving your goals.
People impacted by another’s gambling may find it difficult to understand why somebody gambles, or how to regain trust. A Peer Connection volunteer who has been there can talk with you about their own experience and help you to find ways to adjust to the situation and changes in the relationship.
The Peer Connection Program is free and confidential. Any information gathered during calls is only used to provide support.
How does it work?
Give us a call on 1300 133 445, send an email to PCintake@bchs.org.au or fill out the contact form below.
The coordinator will then have a conversation with you to make sure this is the best service to meet your current needs. The discussion will include your interests and gambling story.
This information is used to determine the volunteer who will most closely relate with your situation and understand the problems that you are facing.
A day and time will be agreed on, and then your Peer Connection volunteer will call you.
The calls can continue for as long as you find them helpful. Your calls will vary in length, depending on what has been happening and how much you want to discuss with your volunteer.
Often the volunteer will call you weekly to start with, and then as you begin to feel more in control you may decide to reduce to fortnightly calls and then less frequently.
If at any time you decide that you do not require support, just let your volunteer know or call the Peer Connection Program Coordinator.
Many ways to get support
There are many other ways to get support with gambling related issues. The Peer Connection program may complement other services such as counselling or financial counselling. For information about other services visit Gamblers Help.
The Peer Connection Program is funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
The Foundation works with researchers, health professionals, government, the gaming industry, community and sporting organisations to promote responsible gambling and provide support services to Victorians experiencing gambling problems.
For more information visit www.responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au
What do people say about the Peer Connection Program?
“Peer Connection was custom made for me.”
“I have found “all” conversations held with my volunteer from Peer Connections, very supportive and his support & suggestions for me have been very valuable.”
“someone who understand what you are going through, someone to talk to.”
“ It lets me have regular contact with someone who has been thru similar experiences to mine, who I can talk to without any fear and who challenges me to face certain issues in my life. And to have a laugh from time to time which might even be the most valuable thing of all.”
“I speak to a lovely lady and look forward to her calls. She has been a huge support and remembers the simplest things and is full of encouragement, Although I have not met this lady I feel like she is a friend and can discuss my gambling issues with her knowing she has been where I am, and that I am not judged. Even at my lowest she was there with me and I truly value that.”
“It helps me to keep on a straight path and also make me feel good about myself when i am told i’m doing well.”
“It has helped me greatly have some on a regular basis to talk to that truly supports me & truly understands what its like for me .”
Peer Connection is not a counselling or crisis program. It can be accessed to provide additional support while you are still receiving other supports, or when you have finished seeing your counsellor or attending a group.
For more information about the Peer Connection Program, call 1300 133 445, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form to get in touch.
Talk to someone who’s been where you are. We understand – we’ve been there too!