Hope Program Counselling and Support Service in 2018-2019

Working with the Vietnamese community to prevent Gambling Harm
Gambling Counsellor: Bic Gresty

Australian is number one country lost on gambling in the World. Far more to many Australians are losing large sums of money through gambling including a big number of Vietnamese, and it is hurt the family budget, caused damage to general health, emotion, family relationship, and derived gamblers to a dark future. It is depressed to see the effect of gambling can ruin people’s money and lives.

Gambling in Australia statistics – how much do we lose?

According to Australian Gambling statistic published by the Queensland Treasury, Australian has lost $24 billion in gambling in 2016-17, and $19.4 billion gambling lost was on the pokies in 2016-17. 1 in 5 Australian experience gambling harm which has caused many difficulties to their lives. It is estimated $1250 lost per person to gambling each year.


The social cost of gambling in Vitoria:

In November 2017, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation found that the total social cost of gambling was $7 billion:

$2.2 billion – family and relationship problem

$$1.6 billion – emotional and psychological issues including suicide and violence

$1.3 – financial loses

$$1.1 billion – cost to the Victorian government for research, regulation & professional support services

$600 million – lost productivity and other work-related costs

$100 million – costs of crime

SICMAA’s Counselling and support service – Hope Program

Gambling harm is overwhelming and hidden, and it has a negative impact on the Vietnamese community greatly. Springvale Indochinese Mutual Assistance Association continues having the professional and financial support from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to assist the Vietnamese gamblers and their families to rebuild their lives, and we would like to express our deep appreciation to the Foundation, service providers, SICMAA Management & committee and our volunteers for fantastic collaboration, professional support and tireless efforts and contributions to achieve the positive outcome for the Vietnamese client throughout the year.

Hope program has been assisted over 150 Vietnamese clients in 2018-19 including face-to-face, phone, outreach and group counselling

Individuals counselling: was assisted the Vietnamese clients and their families to understanding about gambling harm, gambling urge and how to manage the gambling urge, strategies to reduce or stop gambling to rebuild their lives. It is also helped the Vietnamese clients to prevent relapse and minimise crisis and encourage to seek help as soon as possible

4 groups counselling Group counselling:

Group 1: 6-week session “Making Change for New Beginnings” in July-August 2018

Group 2: 3-week session “Stress, Anxiety & Depression VS Living Well” in November 2018

Group 3: 3-week session “Physical, Emotional, Psychological & Spiritual Self-care” in March-April 2019

Group 4: 6-week session “Mental Health Awareness for Vietnamese parents”, six-week in May-June 2019

Monthly Vietnamese peer Support Group


Prevention activities 2018-19

We have been reaching out thousand of Vietnamese through information sessions,  community education sessions, workshops, forum, art skill training sessions, focus groups, community feedback, cultural events and recreations with the aim to education the Vietnamese community to take on healthy activities to enhance their physical and psychological health as well as increase their skills and confidence

Date Activities Number of participants
4/07/2018 Lunch at Lynbrook Hotel, South Gippsland 33 clients
5/07/2018 Mental Health Awareness training, by All Health 44 participants
12/07/2018 No Interest Loan & Low Interest Loan, presented by South Easy Community Link, 25 participants
27/07/2018 Community feedback 34 participants
14/08/2018 Gambling Harm in the Vietnamese Community at “Taking Action for Change” Forum-Geelong Presentation
30/08/2018 School Program “Love the Game” Vietnamese student at Heathmont College
13/09/2018 BBQ at SICMAA to celebrate Fathers’ Day 35 participants
21/09/2018 Court Network information session, presented by Court Network 44 participants
26/09/2019 Building rapport/attachment with their children after the damage of gambling harm, 34 participants
4/10/2018 Sexual Abuse and Legal issues, presented by SECASA, FMC & Springvale legal Aid 26 participants
10/10/2018 Special event In Gambling Harm Week 2018 “Vietnamese Fest” in partnership with Foundation Gambling Harm week, SICMAA Prevention Program and Hope Program 340 participants
12/12/2018 Happy Walk at Warmer Reserve to Princess HW and back to SICMAA for Gambling Harm Week discussion and B, BQ lunch 45 participants
23/10/2018 Recreation, Picnic at Rhododendron Festival 56 participants
22/11/2018 Clients’ Constructive Feedback session at SICMAA 40 participants
30/11/2018 Understanding Family Violence & Intervention Order & services available & activity for helping healing process in partnership with Intouch Family Violence Services 15 participants
6/12/2018 Xmas Party 47 participants
19/12/2018 Picnic and pick you own at Sylvan Cherry Farm 55 Participants
3/01/2019 Cultural activity: Lunar New Year celebration 58
10/01/2019 Healthy activity: Board walking & picnic lunch at Snoopy-Phillip Island 55
17/01/2019 Recreation: Family picnic lunch at Safety Beach-Mornington 50
Date Activities Number of participants
18/01/2019 Temple Bao Minh brochures distributed 20
24/01/2019 Activity: Flower arrangement 16
8/02/2019 Community feedback 12
14/02/2019 Activity: Card making for Valentine’s day 33
28/02/2019 Information session: Sexual Harassment 42
8/03/2019 Volunteer training: Casino tour & Casino Self-exclusion program 10
14/03/2019 Information session: Palliative care 42
28/03/2019 Community education: Will and power of attorney 45
4/04/2019 Community education: trust & financial administration 54
5/04/2019 Community education: Guardianship 47
10/04/2019 Healthy activity for children: Zone Bowling 18
17/04/2019 Healthy activity for family: lunch at Lynbrook 44
26/04/2019 Information session: Understanding family violence, services and support 41
3/05/2019 Information session: MyGov account and the role of Centrelink financial advisor 50
8/05/2019 Mothers’ Day celebration: Relaxation at Hot Springs 20
17/05/2019 Community education: Master your mind 51
24/05/2019 Gambling harm awareness 53
31/05/2019 Gambling online awareness 49
7/06/2019 Gamming and gambling, parents’ concerns 29
20/06/2019 Information session: healthy bladder 35
21/06/2019 Information session: Connect Health, its financial counselling and available services 33



Counselling and prevention activities has successfully reached out a high number of Vietnamese gamblers, their families and Vietnamese community. Through counselling and activities, we have helped the Vietnamese gamblers to understand gambling urge, how to deal with it, dealing with rational beliefs, understanding relapse, and self-help tools to avoid crisis. There were variety of topics which enhances the Vietnamese community about maintaining their health, gambling risk and gambling harm, strategies to prevent it and fun activities. The Vietnamese community also has improved different skills, relationships to maintain their physical, emotional, psychological health and well-being to live happier and healthier and empowered the Vietnamese clients to speak out, seek help earlier to rebuild their lives.

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