Presentation by: Mary Anne Cooke
Date: August 2006
Title: Problem Gambling Screening In Primary Care Training Services: An Up To Date Look At The Project
Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm: Strategic Plan 2004-2010 (Ministry of Health, 2005) emphasises community readiness assessment training as important, as well as early intervention and the possibility of an integrated package in primary care settings, with referral for more serious gambling issues. Abacus Counselling, Training and Supervision Ltd have been contracted by the Ministry of Health to engage with social services and other allied health providers throughout New Zealand in a project to action this strategic plan. This project is being conducted over an 18 month period and this paper will review the progress that has been made to date.

There will be discussion on some of the key milestones of the project. For example, through a training needs analysis this project is identifying how problem gambling screening can be undertaken in primary health/social settings as it acknowledges that a potential range of barriers will exist for screening including time restraints, legitimacy, concerns about knowledge and ability, competing needs, importance and many others. The needs analysis will identify the training design and processes that will best mesh with current training programmes for each setting which will minimise a decision not to participate.

Another key aspect of this project is the forming of cultural advisory groups to oversee all components of the project. Abacus is guided by these groups to ensure the design of the treatment package and delivery of the training incorporates the relevant issues and is culturally appropriate.