Helping people obtain the treatment they require for problem gambling


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Helping people obtain the treatment they require for problem gambling

Toronto, April 13, 2017

By Greg Winson

Dr. Flora Matheson
Dr. Flora Matheson leads a Gambling Research Exchange Ontario Understanding HUB focusing on research on complexity and problem gambling. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

Problem gambling affects one out of nine Ontarians over their lifetimes. The prevalence is even greater among individuals experiencing being homeless and housing instability. However, treatment programs for gambling aren’t always available or aren’t well integrated along with other services.

A Gambling Research Exchange Ontario Understanding Hub established inside the Center for Urban Health Solutions has attempted to concentrate on the complex requirements of destitute gamblers.

The genesis with this understanding hub started 4 years ago when Dr. Flora Matheson collaborated using the Good Shepherd Ministries to review the hyperlinks between problem gambling and being homeless. The research says 35 percent of destitute men had lifetime pathological or problem gambling, when compared with 8 percent within the general population.

Dr. Matheson then studied the hyperlink between problem gambling and being homeless through qualitative interviews with 30 men. Dr. Matheson’s research demonstrated an association with factors including substance use, chronic illness and childhood trauma.

“Many individuals who began gambling within their youth continue as adults,” stated Dr. Matheson. “They gamble to pay the bills, or self-esteem.”

Regardless of the identified need, couple of services were readily available for problem gambling. Family doctors and repair providers frequently don’t understand problem gambling and therefore are unsure where you can refer these to.

      Are you aware?
Greater than a million Ontarians happen to be negatively impacted by another person’s gambling (Responsible Gambling Council, 2013)

Dr. Matheson and her team have partnered using the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario in the Center for Addiction and Mental Health insurance and Good Shepherd Ministries to build up a handbook for providers to boost take care of their customers with gambling problems. It is anticpated to be launched later this season.

“It’s really to assist providers begin a conversation about problem gambling using their clients and also to give them screening tools,” stated Dr. Matheson.

Patients with complex issues require an integrated method of their care – getting multiple treatment services in one location is essential.

“Travelling round the city for various services can be difficult, stated Dr. Matheson. “Even a subway token could be costly for somebody experiencing poverty.”

With the collaboration between Good Shepherd Ministries and Dr. Matheson and her team, Good Shepherd is applying an airplane pilot project of services to aid clients experiencing problem gambling and being homeless. Services provided includes individual counselling, situation management concentrating on the particular requirements of the customer along with a existence-skills group concentrating on the process of gambling. Dr. Matheson’s team will evaluate the program that was funded with the Local Poverty Reduction Fund from the Secretary of state for Housing.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate choose to all who enter its doorways. A healthcare facility offers outstanding medical education to future medical professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, cardiovascular disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, proper care of the destitute and global health are some of the hospital’s recognized special areas of practice. With the Keenan Research Center and also the Li Ka Shing Worldwide Healthcare Education Center, which from the Li Ka Shing Understanding Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized making an effect all over the world. Founded in 1892, a healthcare facility is fully associated with the College of Toronto.

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