Every year the Peer Connection Program administers a client survey to get feedback about the program and increase our understanding about aspects of the service that clients find useful or helpful.
The survey results from May 2016 show that the program is used generally as an adjunct to other support services, but respondents identify that they receive a different kind of support from the Peer Connection Program.
Specifically, respondents commented on the sharing of stories, the inspiration from somebody who has overcome a gambling problem and the understanding gained from the peer support volunteers.
The process of allocating clients to specific volunteers based on their gambling and life experiences was also recognized by some respondents who commented that the volunteer knew and understood their other issues also.
94% of respondents stated that their gambling had improved as a result of the program and 59% of respondents reported an improvement in their mental health. The two may be linked, as feelings of shame and guilt decrease as the level of gambling reduces.
This improved sense of mental health may also be linked to 66% of respondents feeling more confident and comfortable to discuss gambling with those close to them. Increased support from family/friends will create an environment for greater maintenance of behaviour change.
Research about peer support has shown one benefit for people accessing peer support is increased self efficacy. 95% of respondents feel more hopeful about the future, and self-efficacy is essential for change to occur.
This result demonstrates the value of the peer support provided, and confirms that the program is achieving this objective.