Gambling services contract secured by Lifeline North Coast
LIFELINE North Coast has secured a contract from the NSW Government to provide problem gambling counselling services to the local community.
The State member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said Lifeline North Coast is one of 56 services across the State which have successfully tendered for contracts to provide high quality problem gambling counselling and support services on behalf of the Government over the next four years.
"Congratulations to Lifeline North Coast for being selected by the Government to provide face-to-face counselling services and support for problem gamblers in the Coffs Harbour, Grafton, and Nambucca Heads regions," Mr Fraser said.
The funding, from the Government's Responsible Gambling Fund, will support mainstream and multicultural problem gambling counselling services, legal support for problem gamblers, and professional training for counsellors.
Face-to-face counselling services will be funded across NSW including Sydney, the Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra, New England/NorthWest, North Coast, Riverina/Murray, South East and Western NSW regions.
A 24-hour telephone counselling support will also continue to be available as well as access to support via the internet and email to ensure problem gamblers can get the help they when and where they most need it.
Minister for Hospitality and Racing, George Souris, said the Government will be supporting problem gambling services that are accessible and relevant to local communities and of a consistently high standard.
"The Government conducted a needs analysis into the problem gambling sector last year which consulted widely and examined data about gambling prevalence and counselling needs and access across the State," Mr Souris said.
"Areas identified for improvement included better access to more after hours counselling support; access to financial counselling alongside therapeutic counselling; appropriate referrals to skilled clinicians for problem gamblers facing complex mental health issues; more community education about problem gambling and greater promotion of counselling services; and the need for better key performance indicators to ensure quality services were supported and shaped by measured outcomes."