Our Program

SAIGHS Program is Fee-Free and Confidential

Making the call for help

Congratulations on taking your first step on your journey in seeking help to address your gambling issues – Making this decision to begin treatment can be difficult and anxiety-provoking. This reaction is a normal reaction. It takes courage to take the first step to call us. People often reflect on this moment and are so relieved they made the call.

When gambling has become a part of your life, it can be difficult to imagine having a life free of gambling but it is possible. Call us for a free and confidential time to chat about what’s going on for you and how we can help you recover and have a life free of gambling. We can also help significant others too – just give us a call and we are here to help those struggling to know what to do when they are concerned about someone’s gambling.

What happens next?

Our team will ask a few basic questions to clarify your needs.  If you are unsure about the answers, that is ok, we can help work through this when you call. Once we know how best to help, we will book you to see one of our clinicians who specialise in treating people with gambling issues. They can also help with other issues you may be experiencing, providing expert evidenced based treatment or referral for psychosocial support or financial counselling.

We find that if we can help you sort out what is going on, we can address each of the issues to help you break the gambling cycle for good. We do not ask lots of questions or take questionnaires when we first meet people, and we listen to what they have to say so we know how best to help you.

It is not just about the gambling 

Many people who have developed gambling-related issues find that gambling has become a distraction from another problem in their life.

For example:

  • Some people gamble to escape the grief of going home to an empty house after losing a partner or for social companionship. For these people, gambling is more about winning money so than can gamble longer rather than going home.
  • We see people who have experienced trauma, domestic violence or have social anxiety issues, or depression; gambling provides time out and slowly becomes an increasing problem for these people. 
  • Other people experience gambling problems that are causing harm.

Whatever the reason is, we can help you recover.

Our Program

Our program is different to many other services available for those people experiencing gambling issues because we do more than counselling. Research shows that just talking about gambling can be both triggering and upsetting for someone seeking help, contributing to maintaining ongoing gambling.  

Counselling alone can make it difficult to stop gambling. At SAIGHS, we use Evidence-based treatment so we know it works and is called cognitive behavioural therapy. This means a process is used that brings together the best available research, treatment approaches, professional expertise, with input from people who have experienced gambling harms. This approach ensures that we only provide treatments demonstrated to achieve positive outcomes for people experiencing gambling harms.

This approach ensures that we only provides treatments demonstrated to achieve positive outcomes for people experiencing gambling related problems harms. We know that our clients achieve these positive results because we follow them up closely to ensure an ongoing safety netthey feel supported enabling them to achieve their goals well into long term recovery.

Peer mentors

Some of our clients want to help others achieve the same results they have by achieving a full recovery from gambling related problems so have elected to be peer mentors to support them people in treatment. When you call up please asAsk us if you would like to have a chat with a mentor.

Our treating team 

Members of our team have extensive experience both in academic and clinical fields holding  senior positions. These positions, include running SA university training clinic, treatment services in mental health and corrections, working as Gambling Services Co-ordinator for Melbourne’s Turning Point for National Telephone and Online Gambling Help Services and the Gambling Topic Coordinator and lecturer within the Master of Addictive behaviours at Monash University and Flinders University and senior clinical lecturing positions at Flinders, Adelaide and UniSA psychology departments. Our team have published articles and have been invited to presentations and workshops in gambling and gambling treatments nationally and internationally.

Treatment Approach – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

People who have completed the program describe recovering from their gambling issues and living a meaningful life without the ongoing fear of gambling, which sets them up for long-term recovery.

Our team uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which provides people with a framework for understanding how their gambling issues develop and are maintained. Through this therapeutic approach we, teach our clients strategies and skills which equip them with the tools to help deal with life’s challenges in constructive and less harmful ways.

SAIGHS uses a combination of (CBT) cognitive and behavioural techniques such as graded exposure to tackle gambling triggers to gradually eliminate the gambling urge for good. The complimentary cognitive therapies, assists people to develop greater self-awareness and skills to challenge negative thoughts and internal narratives that often assist to maintain the addictive patterns of behaviour. After treatment, people have significant mastery over their urge to gamble, self-awareness and rational thinking in relation to money and its value. This provides people with an improved sense of control over their lives which set them up for long-term recovery.

Maintaining change and relapse prevention:

Making changes to gambling addiction is challenging. Research studies have shown that people who
stay committed to treatment have much better outcomes and more success in the long run. We will
work with you to develop a strong relapse prevention plan to help you maintain control and complete the treatment program. If you are concerned about your gambling behaviour and would like more information about our therapy , please call us for a chat or make an appointment with one of our expert clinicians.

(08) 8232-3333

1800 002 424 (Rural and Remote)

FAQ’s

This service is free. The intensive program offers 12 free 1-1 sessions. Additional supportive counseling for gamblers, family and friends is also available free of charge.
All treatment is provided by nationally registered clinical psychologists. We also have a number of lived experience mentors as part of our “Authentic Voices” program. Our mentors have first-hand experience with overcoming gambling-related issues and are also available to support you on your journey to recovery.
The service is offered at five locations: City, Seaview Downs, Gilles Plains, Victor Harbor. Rural and remote South Australians can access our visiting and telepsychology services.
All our psychologists are experienced in working with a range or issues. We run a number of free programs including drug and alcohol, trauma and suicide prevention, as well as general mental health support.
The program keeps records required for ethical health treatment but is confidential within the limits of Australian law.
As part of the Community Achievement Awards 2020, a joint collaboration between PsychMed, the South Australian Intensive Gambling Help Service (SAIGHS) and Lifeline South East (SA)’s Limestone Coast Regional Gambling Help Service (LCRGHS) in Mount Gambier was recognised as semi-finalist of The Loneliness Cure Award. Together, PsychMed, SAIGHS and LCRGHS helped people struggling with social isolation and gambling, mitigate gambling problems, suicide risk and develop meaningful connections within their community.