Consumer Voice and Peer Support are Lived Experience in Gambling Programs. They are staffed by people with lived experience in overcoming gambling harm. Offering a chance to heal, tell your story, educate others and support/be supported by peers. The Consumer Voice program runs out of our Hindmarsh office and offers outreach. The Peer Support program is available from any of our offices and works in prisons and other key organisations.
Consumer Voice Program
The Consumer Voice Program is a free service provided by volunteers who share their experiences of overcoming gambling harm. For over a decade, the program has encouraged change by connecting through story. The program runs out of our Hindmarsh office and offers outreach.
Consumer Voice plays a vital role in increasing community awareness and assisting individuals to engage with pathways that promote recovery. The authentic lived experience presentations offer the opportunity to bear witness to the rollercoaster in and out of gambling harm. They challenge stigma, spread the word about seeking support, and offer hope. The Consumer Voice Program aims to be a proactive part of the solution to a growing public health crisis.
Change is possible. As one Consumer Voice speaker states: “Life can be different…”
The Lived Experience stories and speakers
The Consumer Voice speakers come from many different backgrounds. Their stories cover a vast number of situations. They are real, captivating, devastating, empowering and very moving.
The duration of the presentation is between 5 and 10 minutes and is customisable to fit with any event program. An information-packed Q&A session will accompany the Consumer Voice speaker presentation. A Gambling Help Service or Peer Support Service worker then shares information about pathways for support.
The Consumer Voice Program has ongoing relationships with a range of organisations. We connect with audiences at:
- community centres
- festivals and community events
- adult education centres
- gambling industry training
- community service organisations
- corporate events.
Consumer Voice presentations are free
Quality Consumer Voice presentations are available free to the community, corporate businesses and the gambling industry.
Here is some recent feedback on our presenters:
- “Great presentations and stories.”
- “Delivery was perfect and informative.”
- “This was very eye-opening. I understand a lot more, very good presentation.”
- “A very brave woman, able to tell her story and help others.”
- “Very informative. It really made me think.”
- “Amazing! I found this very useful and meaningful.”
How do I book a Consumer Voice speaker?
CV presentations are available in-person or through online platforms, such as Zoom and GoTo Meetings.
Booking contact details: Billy Kriaris | 0427 010 099 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the Speakers flyer here.
Have you experienced harm from gambling? Share your story!
If you or a family member has been affected by harm from gambling, consider sharing your story.
Involvement in the Consumer Voice Program can serve as a transitional step from social isolation to reengagement with community. It starts with a free training course to develop your lived experience story and presentation skills.
Contact the CV Coordinator: Billy Kriaris | 0427 010 099 | email@example.com
Next training available – March 2021 – Download the flyer here.
Samples of Consumer Voice stories and films
Collective story: Rollercoaster of Gambling Harm
LEIGH: Lived Experience in Gambling Harm
Lived Experience story development
The Consumer Voice Program offers professional training to support the development of lived experience stories about overcoming gambling harm, with a particular emphasis on individual recovery.
A Peer Support facilitator, with lived experience of recovery from gambling harm, supports this training and participants. The training includes narrative and art therapy approaches to constructing the true stories.
Read participant feedback...
“I cannot put into words how much this training has enhanced my journey of recovery. It has been a wonderful experience working through how to write My Story.” – Consumer Voice training participant
“There is no doubt that this training program has given me a very good insight into gambling awareness and harm, but it has helped me in so many other aspects of my road to recovery. Much of the training has helped me cope with and understand what I have been through and how it will help with my recovery.” – Consumer Voice training participant (online)
“Still going through early recovery, this course has taught me to look deeper and further enhance recovery. The course was confronting, however I felt it made me realise different aspects of my gambling that I never realized before. E.g. deeper triggers. Once started I felt the story just flowed, I think the timeline exercise helped a lot with the process.” – Consumer Voice training participant
“Realising that as a person dealing with a gambler, I am important too. I felt supported and I can also be of assistance to someone in a similar situation. I am progressing as a result of this process” – Consumer Voice training participant (significant other)
“I found it incredibly helpful to timeline my story and pick the parts I felt at peace sharing.” – Consumer Voice training participant
“I loved how the stories came up and how the artwork was integral to the magic of the process of writing and telling stories.” – Peer support worker (observer)
Hide participant feedback...
Entry requirements and course delivery
The Consumer Voice training is available to those who have overcome gambling harm. This includes those who have suffered the harmful impacts of gambling through a significant other. There is no requirement to become a Consumer Voice speaker. The training can just be for social connection and personal development.
The sessions run for the equivalent of four full days and one-hour intensive 1:1 session. This is usually a total of 20 hours of training. It is offered approximately four times per year from our Hindmarsh education facility, The Australian Institute of Social Relations, with online options. The sessions are available individually or in a small group setting. Flexible delivery may be available, to suit work or home responsibilities.
Consumer Voice showcase
For those who wish to go on to become Consumer Voice speakers, the conclusion speakers may present their crafted story to a supportive audience of invited guests.
This Consumer Voice ‘graduation ceremony’ is called a ‘Showcase.’
“Lived experience is such an amazing way to learn and understand about the effects that gambling has on people in our community. Their stories help you to feel what they go through to overcome this issue and understand that it is a lifelong issue to deal with.” – Showcase audience member
The Consumer Voice Volunteers
Consumer Voice speakers will sign our volunteer agreement and may remain in the program for as long as it is mutually beneficial. Some find that that sharing their story is empowering for a period of time, and they move on to new opportunities. Others may find that their engagement with the program will remain a meaningful aspect of their lives and continue indefinitely.
Each Consumer Voice speaker is invited to participate in shaping the direction of the program. They will attend quarterly meetings in which they share experiences, reflect on practice, develop further skills and have their say. There are special projects which aim to encourage creativity and community engagement, such as developing group presentations for Gambling Harm Awareness events in October each year.
With support from the Consumer Voice coordinator, speakers can revisit their stories periodically to maintain currency or modify to suit a particular engagement or a new phase of their lives.
“The more we do the more we own our skill.”– Consumer Voice Speaker
“Doing the talks gives me extra strength and extra fight.” – Consumer Voice Speaker
“It’s reassuring that you can get through life’s ups and downs with the strategies that we have learned. It was like a new lease of life – an opportunity to get back on your feet.” – Consumer Voice Speaker
Peer Support Program
Peer Support offers those who have experienced a problematic relationship with gambling the opportunity to speak with a trained peer support worker. Our workers have similar, lived experiences with gambling and recovery! There is always hope. The Peer Support program is available from any of our offices, with outreach to prisons and key organisations.
A Peer Support worker can:
- Offer hope that you too can overcome gambling problems
- Support your journey of recovery at any pace and in an individual way
- Listen and offer support
- Provide practical information
- Understand recovery as an ongoing lifetime process which can be cyclical and not linear
- Share what they have learned to support your recovery
- Provide one-on-one support, with flexible delivery (location, time, in-person/phone/online)
- Advocate for you, where possible and with permission
- Celebrate your achievements and remind you of your progress
Peer Support Values:
- Listening actively
- Culturally awareness
Social Education in Community / Groups
Ikigai – Relapse Prevention Group
This is a monthly group meeting for those who have stopped gambling (and would like to stay that way). The goal is to provide learning strategies to help you cope when high-risk situations occur in advance – known as Relapse Prevention.
The group focuses on:
- Building healthy self esteem
- Practising assertiveness
- Achieving lifestyle balance
- Learning new strategies
- Connection with others
The group is hosted by the Lived Experience in Gambling Help program for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 8245 8172
Groups usually host between 6 – 10 participants.
SMART (self-management and recovery training) Recovery Group
A weekly group session to help each other overcome the life challenges caused by problematic behaviours and/or an addiction. Using SMART, you can find the power within you to change.
The group is facilitated by either a Gambling Help Counsellor or a Peer Support Worker and is held weekly on a Monday from 10 am (sharp) – 11.30 am at our Hindmarsh Office.
Groups usually host between 6-10 participants.
If you would like more information about SMART, you can find this at https://smartrecoveryaustralia.com.au/about/
Peer Support Programs
Our Peer Support Workers cooperate with law enforcement, corrections and other service providers to offer 1:1 peer support.
Gambling Intervention Program (GIP)
The Gambling Intervention Program (GIP) is a Treatment Intervention Court that operates from the Adelaide Magistrates Court. The purpose of GIP is to provide rehabilitation services for problem gamblers when their gambling has led to offending. For example, theft of money to pay for gambling activities.
Our Peer Support Workers work collaboratively in partnership with those that have been assessed and qualify for the GIP court, offering 1:1 peer support throughout this time and beyond.
Offenders Rehabilitation Aid Services (OARS)
OARS Gambling Support Service provides a confidential service to people with problem gambling who have were involved, or are at risk of involvement, in the criminal justice system.
Our Peer Support Workers work collaboratively with attendees, offering 1:1 peer support throughout this time and beyond.
Adelaide Remand Centre (ARC), Adelaide Women’s Prison (AWP) – Keeping Safe Program & Mobilong Prison
Our Peer Support Workers and Gambling Help Counsellors attend ARC, AWP and Mobilong on a quarterly basis and provide gambling education initially in a group setting.
Those in attendance who identify with having gambling harm can then receive, ongoing 1:1 peer support throughout their time incarcerated. Support is also available when and transitioning back into the community, with referral pathways to other services and beyond.
Key points focused on are
- Education on gambling
- Exploring and talking about shame and stigma
- Offering hope for the future
- Sharing of lived experience story
Our Peer Support Workers also work collaboratively with community corrections officers to provide the best possible outcomes and for mutual clients.
Peer Support Partnerships
Catherine House & Baptist Care SA – Homelessness
Catherine House offer emergency accommodation and support services for women (only) experiencing homelessness. Baptist Care offer emergency accommodation and support services for those experiencing homelessness. The programs and services are recovery-oriented.
Our Peer Support Workers work collaboratively, in partnership with those that identify to have gambling harm, offering 1:1 peer support throughout this time and beyond.
Lived Experience Workforce Project (LEWP)
The LEWP is funded by SA Health to support the development and growth of the LEW in the non-government mental health sector. Everything they do is co-designed or co-produced with the Reference Group, LEWs and Leaders.
Our Peer Support Workers are members of this group and contribute to developing guidelines and standards and contributing to the sector.
- West (Hindmarsh)
- Outer West (Port Adelaide)
- South (Marion)
- North (Salisbury)
- North (Elizabeth)
- North East (St Agnes)
- Riverland (Berri)
- City (Frome Street)
There is no cost associated with doing the training or booking a speaker as it is fully funded by the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.
Consumer Voice and Peer Support Programs are provided by Relationships Australia South Australia and is funded through the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund, a joint initiative of the Australian Hotels Association (SA Branch), Clubs SA, Adelaide Casino and the Government of South Australia.