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Kelli`s Story


By Sondra Kalnins


HopeStreet Gambling Help has been busy employing new staff as a result of additional funding. New staff are being orientated to the service and our new full time counsellor is being trained in delivering a structured treatment model to the problem gamblers and families that we see.


This month we have several clients who are under orders from the courts to attend treatment. Engaging with them to help them avoid a gambling problem after release from prison is our goal. The following story is about Kelli.


Working with Kelli and Community Justice


We are currently working with Kelli who has recently left prison after having committed a gambling related crime. Kelli is very determined to stay out of prison and make progress in her life. Although she is required to attend gambling counselling by the court she is also very willing to participate in the treatment program. She has self-excluded from all gambling venues in her
local area and is about to start a TAFE course to help her find employment.


Although Kelli feels quite isolated she has chosen not to contact old friends who she gambled with and with whom she took drugs. Instead she has made the effort to reconnect with her parents and help them with their gardening business. She has asked her parents to randomly look at her bank account to check that she is not spending money unwisely. This gives her more confidence to limit the money she withdraws and to be accountable for her expenses.


Kelli has a mental health condition and regularly sees a psychiatrist.


Her motivation to improve her life and her willingness to put helpful strategies in place is very encouraging. Kelli has gained awareness about her mistaken beliefs about gambling being a way of making money. Kelli’s gambling led to a complete breakdown financially and emotionally. She was considering suicide. Her crime was done in a state of desperation and she is very remorseful.


Kelli is determined to never commit a crime again.


Although Kelli faces challenges with her mental health and her limited prospects for employment she is fighting for her right to have a meaningful life. She has started running with a health group to lose weight and is even beginning to feel as though she can make friends and feel “normal”.


She plans to save up for a cat to keep her company.


Our service will continue to provide treatment for her gambling problem but also to give her encouragement and support to make a happier, healthier and safer life for the future.


Those concerned about a friend, family member or colleague can access counselling, support and information. Contact HopeStreet Gambling Help on 02 9332 3506.


If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide you can access help by calling Lifeline 13 11 14.


Back to HopeStreet Winter Newsletter Edition