Gambling harm school education program is back

Gambler’s Help Southern’s community engagement officer, Kate, discusses the high school gambling education material with a Year 12 VCAL teacher from Parkdale Secondary College.

Our Gambling Harm school education program is back, presenting education about gambling harm to local high school students.

Gambler's Help Southern's community engagement team visited students at Parkdale Secondary College just before our last lockdown and is looking forward to visiting more schools in the south-eastern suburbs now that restrictions have lifted and school is back for term three.

The schools education program, Be Ahead of the Game, was delivered online throughout lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, but the team is thrilled to be able to resume sessions in-person.

Connect Health & Community CEO, Amanda Murphy, said high school students are always fascinated by the content of the lessons, making online delivery effective, however everyone is pleased with the return to face-to-face learning.

“We’ve all appreciated the ability to work online during COVID-19, but naturally, the benefits of in-person education just can’t be beaten.  Students enjoy being able to explore the content through candid discussion, recognising the ability for gambling harm to affect so many.  The very nature of in-person sessions help educate students about the impact of gambling, while actively breaking down the stigma that prevents us talking openly about these issues that live hidden in every community,” she said.

Developed by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Be Ahead of the Game material is designed to address all high school age groups, with three core topics for presentations. Schools can choose between Know the Score (years 10-12), When Gaming Meets Gambling (years 7-9) or Your Money Matters (years 11-12).

“The interactive sessions explore how young people interact with gambling and encourage students to develop the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about gambling,” Ms Murphy said.

“Unfortunately, gambling is a growing program for many schools, with increased advertising and ease of smart-phone betting making gambling more accessible to young people than ever before,”
 she said

Be Ahead of the Game is a free program available to all schools.

For more information about the program email Gambler’s Help Southern at ghs.intake@connecthealth.org.au .

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