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Ballarat front and centre of pilot targeting gambling addiction

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 Ballarat Community Health will be front and centre of a new screening program designed to identify gambling addiction.

The program, funded by the state, will teach health professionals how to spot early signs during general check-up’s.

BCH CEO Sean Duffy says he hopes to see the program become a regular part of health assessments.

"One of the things is it needs to be quick and simple so health professional will be taught basic questions to start the conversation, he said. 

Sean says Ballarat’s likely to see an uptick in addiction as gaming venues open at full scale in the coming months.

Buninyong MP Michaela Settle, whose marriage broke down as a result of gambling, says the lack of universal screening makes the problem hard to identify.

"The idea is that you're seeing your doctor or health professional and it's a safe environment so it might be an opportunity to reach out for help," she said.

The 12-month program will commence in 2022.