Get help and support
If you need a bit of help to get back on track, support is close at hand, it's confidential and free.
Get immediate, professional help any time of the day, find a local counselling service or have a regular check in with someone who's been in your situation. Face to face, over the phone or online – we can help.
24-hour helplines, peer phone support and professional phone counselling.
- Gambler's Help 1800 858 858
- Gambler's Help Youthline 1800 262 376
Call now for professional, confidential and free support and advice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gambler's Help helplines are for anyone affected by gambling – their own, or someone else's. We can refer you to local services and send you information.
Calls are free from landlines. Calls form mobiles may be charged. If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment contact us through the National Relay Service.
Local Gambler's Help services offer phone counselling by appointment, including outside office hours. Contact your local service to discuss this option with them.
Get support from someone who's been there too.
Peer Connection matches you with a volunteer for regular phone contact. Volunteers have dealt with their own gambling problems or worked through the impact of someone else's, so they know what you're going through.
Peer Connection isn't for people in immediate crisis – call Gamblers help 24 hour service if you need immediate help. Call Peer Connection on 1300 133 445 or visit peerconnection.org.au
Join the Gambling Help online forum, sign up for email support, or live chat with a counsellor
Gambling Help Online
Gambling Help Online provides anonymous, free, confidential advice and counselling. There's also information online to support you in developing your own strategies for change. Visit Gambling Help Online and select 'Get started'. You'll need to register an email address to get things going.
Gambling Help Online lets you connect and get support in different ways:
Chat live with a counsellor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Email counselling is great when you need answers to questions but don't need an immediate response. You may prefer this service because you want to make changes on your own and just need to check in with someone, or you may like having time to consider your thoughts and write them down when you have time to sit down and reflect on what you want to say.
We offer free, confidential information, advice and counselling to anyone affected by gambling in Victoria.
Our trained counsellors are here to help you. We understand what you're going through and can help you find ways to deal with your problems and support you for as long as you need. Our counselling services also extend to the family and friends of those who gamble.
Local Gambler's Help providers offer face to face and phone counselling by appointment, giving you greater choice.
Gambler's Help services are available in over 100 locations across Victoria. Some locations may be available by appointment only. Please contact your local Gambler's Help service to find the nearest location to you.
In-language counselling services are available for Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese speaking communities, and some other languages by request.
If you’re worried about money, the good news is you’re not alone. Our financial counsellors understand the financial issues you are facing and can help improve your situation.
What is financial counselling?
Financial counselling is a free and confidential service offered to people who are experiencing any of the following:
- money problems due to gambling
- trouble keeping up with bills and other commitments
- contact from debt collectors
- tax debt
- utility disconnection
- default notices
How can a financial counsellor help me?
Financial counsellors are skilled professionals who can:
- help you to assess, consolidate and manage debt
- work with you to set financial goals and create a budget
- negotiate with creditors on your behalf about repayment arrangements
- check if you’re eligible for government support
- help you apply for hardship variations on existing loans
- explain the risks of bankruptcy or accessing your super early and guide you through the alternatives available
To have a plan, along with the professional support to see it through, can be a great relief.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by money worries, please book a session with one of our financial counsellors as soon as possible. If you get help early, you will have many more options.
6 out of 10 people report being better off financially after receiving support from Gambler’s Help.*
*Based on 2017–18 data from the Gambler’s Help client outcomes survey, 63% of responses indicated improvement in their financial situation at a six-month follow-up survey.
How do I know if I need financial counselling?
Here are some common reasons you might seek financial counselling.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed about bills and debt
- If you’d like financial advice from a professional
- If you have financial goals and would like support to make them happen.
- When you receive a bill (e.g. a power bill) and you’re unable to pay it
- If you have credit accounts (e.g. credit card, personal loan, mortgage) that you are falling behind on
- If you find yourself borrowing money from family and friends to get through until your next pay day
- If you find yourself not opening mail or answering phone calls because you believe it will be a creditor asking for money and you can’t pay it
- If you are struggling to pay personal/family commitments (e.g. weekly food shopping, school fees, gym memberships)
- If you find yourself googling ‘payday loans’ because your bank has declined to approve a loan
- If you are affected by someone else’s gambling and notice, there’s never enough household income to cover the bills
Do I qualify for financial counselling?
Any Victorian resident that is experiencing financial difficulty due to gambling is eligible for financial counselling. This includes anyone negatively affected by someone else’s gambling.
What happens in the first session?
The service is free, independent and non-judgmental. Financial counsellors want to support you and they understand that it’s a major step to seek help about your finances.
The aim at the first appointment is to gather information, understand what your goals are and start a plan. Your financial counsellor will:
- ask questions regarding your finances and goals
- complete some program consents, privacy and confidentiality agreements.
- explain what a financial counsellor can and can’t do (they may refer you to other services such as Gambler’s Help therapeutic counsellors, family support or legal aid)
- let you know how many appointments you may need (generally it’s between 2–5 appointments) – and/or whether they can communicate with you via email and phone.
If a situation is urgent (for example, if you have received a disconnection notice for your electricity) your financial counsellor can contact the supplier during the appointment and advocate for you immediately.
What do I need to bring?
To make things easier, it helps to bring in any of the following documents about your financial situation:
- bank statements
- letters, or other paperwork.
This is helpful because the financial counsellor might ask detailed questions about your financial commitments.
These questions will help them support you. Often there are times when they contact the bank or credit provider on your behalf (with your permission) to discuss your options.
Can I only see a financial counsellor once?
You can access a financial counsellor through Gambler’s Help as many times as you need to.
If you find that things are getting better for you financially, you might stop seeing your financial counsellor. But if something then triggers a change in your situation, you can come back and see them again to check-in.
Financial counsellors don’t judge people for lapses, relapses or changes in their circumstances. They’re here to support you.
It's also okay if you see a financial counsellor once, then decide it's not the right time for you or that you can manage things on your own. Just know that you can come back at any time.
Real storiesSee full listing of stories
I made decent money in the beginning, but I wasn’t disciplined and was very bad at money management. My greed was also one of the reasons for me to go broke.
I started off pretty good - I’d deposit $10-$20 and see a nice profit of $120 or so. But then I discovered live blackjack and started betting ridiculous amounts.