Monya Murch-Gangemi, from Relationships Australia, provides an insight into her work on the co-occurrence of problem gambling harm and people diagnosed with schizophrenia.
How did you first become involved in your field?
Over a decade ago, while working in the community, I began to more closely listen to stories and experiences shared by participants to our small groups. As my interest in everyday human interaction and experiences deepened, I decided to pursue professional development with a focus on trauma, mental distress, addiction and the impact these had on individuals, relationships and our communities’ wellbeing. This eventually led me to complete further studies specialising in Trauma and Infant and Parent Mental Health.
Why should people come and listen to your talk on Friday 31 Aug at TheMHS Conference?
The aim of the presentation is to open up conversation on the topic, invite greater understanding and questions on the co-occurrence of problem gambling harm and people diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the allure that gambling, gaming and betting plays, and its impact on this population group, and, more importantly how to better support.
What’s one thing not many people know about you?
I love art, chalk drawing and water colours painting. It has been one of my passions since childhood – I used to retreat drawing or painting for hours as a child, and it is something I’d like to resume again with more consistency.
Why are you looking forward to coming to Adelaide?
I live in lovely Adelaide – I’d recommend people coming over to take a refreshing walk along the river Torrens or delight in one of the magnificent sunsets on our west coast beaches, there are some truly beautiful spots.
Where can people find out more about your work?
- TheMHS Conference, Adelaide:
S81: PAPERS: Forensic and Gambling Friday 31 August, 20 minute presentation in the 1.30-3.00pm session Hall B.S33:Schizophrenia and Gambling Related Harm: The need for improved prevention and intervention.
S33: PAPERS: Perinatal & Infant Mental Health, Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM, Riverbank Room 4, Postnatal Depression: Postnatal Depression: Engaging and Including Fathers
- TheMHS Resource Library
- Rasa GHS website
Monya’s TheMHS Conference Abstract:
Schizophrenia and Gambling Related Harm: The need for improved prevention and intervention.
While many people gamble occasionally and without any visible harm, for some, gambling can result in loss of finances, family and intimate relationships, community support, and deterioration of mental health and wellbeing. Notably, problem gambling has been associated with suicidality, co-occurring psychiatric conditions and other adverse health measures in community samples.
Although high rates of problem gambling are found in psychiatric populations, the extent to which individuals with schizophrenia present symptoms of problem gambling has not been adequately researched. Furthermore, clinicians due to diagnostic overshadowing often overlook identification and attention to co-morbid gambling problems.
Clinical work undertaken within the Gambling Help Services at Relationships Australia, South Australia, offers a unique opportunity to better understand the dynamics and impact of the frequent co-occurrence between schizophrenia and problem gambling, which is largely unexamined in research and clinical practice. This highlights the importance to raise professional awareness and understanding of how the emergence of gambling related harm is often misunderstood or missed entirely, and to promote the need for improved prevention and intervention for this population.
Holding a Doctorate in Social Sciences, a Master of Mental Health and a Postgraduate in Counselling, Monya Gangemi is currently working with individuals and families affected by problem gambling and gambling-related harm. Monya has special interest in Attachment Theories, Neuroscience and Perinatal Mental Health.