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Asian Family Services

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    Asian Family Services (AFS) provides professional, confidential, nationwide face-to-face or telephone counselling support to Asians who are affected by gambling harm or mental health-related issues in New Zealand.

    These services are offered in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai and Hindi. An interpreter can be arranged for other languages.

    Based in Auckland, AFS has 15 staff who speak Chinese, 3 Korean staff, 3 Indian staff, 1 Filipino staff, 1 Vietnamese staff, and 1 Thai staff.

    Based in Wellington, AFS has 1 researcher and 1 public health promoter.

    Based in Christchurch, AFS has 1 public health promoter.

    ​All staff are trained counsellors, social workers, and health promoters.

    Asian Family Services is part of the PGF Group (formerly the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand).

    Staff

    Currently AFS has 24 staff in Auckland, 2 staff in Wellington and 1 staff in Christchurch.

    All staff are trained counsellors, social workers, health promoters and researcher.

     

    Programme

    Telephone Support - Asian Helpline 0800 862 342

    Asian Helpline provides nationwide free and confidential services from Monday to Friday between 9am-8pm. Our Helpline is available in ten languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Hindi and English.

    Our Asian Helpline helps Asian people in New Zealand to access appropriate counselling support. Our counsellors provide helpful information and services to those who are experiencing gambling harm or COVID-19 related mental distress, such as depression and anxiety.

    We receive over 3000 phone calls per year. Most people call us to enquire about:

    • Support for gambling harm
    • Emotional support
    • Crisis intervention
    • General information (e.g. how to navigate New Zealand's health and social systems)

    Our operators will provide up-to-date information to help all our callers. It is important to note that our Asian Helpline is not a crisis helpline. However, if a caller presents suicidal ideation, our duty counsellors will assess their risk level and provide appropriate interventions accordingly. 

    Counselling for Gambling

    Asian Family Services is contracted by the Ministry of Health only to provide support for gamblers, family members and anybody who is negatively affected by someone else’s problem gambling in the past or at present. These services include one-on-one counselling services, couple counselling, group counselling and other social work services. These services are free for those who have been affected by gambling harm.

    What is counselling?
    The word, counselling, is a foreign term for many Asian countries. Being unfamiliar with counselling can make Asian people hesitant to seek counselling help. Thus it is important for Asians to know about what counselling is and how it works. Counselling is a private and confidential process. You talk in confidence with an experienced, qualified professional who will work with you to help you find ways of coping that are helpful and lasting.

    All the clinical staff in our agency are tertiary qualified and maintain professional memberships.
    If you’ve never been to counselling before, it’s not unusual to feel anxious before the first meeting.  You are welcome to bring a support person along with you to your counselling sessions. For many people, the most helpful thing about counselling is to have someone they can trust to talk to about things that concern them.

    The first appointment is usually between 1 to 1 ½ hours. At this appointment you and your counsellor will talk confidentially and find out how you can best work together.

    At this appointment you will also be asked to fill out some questionnaires, which give the counsellor an idea of how things are going with you. The information from the questionnaires is confidential.

    Later the counselling session is generally once per week or fortnightly for 50 minutes, depending on your needs.
    People often ask how long they will need to come to counselling but this varies from person to person. With regard to how many counselling sessions you could have, your counsellor will guide you with this decision.

    Asian Group Workshops & Programmes

    Asian Family Services provides tailor-made workshops and programmes for Asian groups within the community. These programmes and workshops have been developed to respond to the demands and requests from migrant communities. 
     
    The workshop topics include: 

    • Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P Parenting).
    • Communication programme for migrants 
    • Project Connect for international students.
    • “Wellness Recovery Action Plan”(WRAP) for clients with mental health issues.
    • Anger Management Programme.
    • Gambling Prevention Workshop for new migrants or refugees. 
    • “Bet on Freedom” harm prevention programme for those who want to re-enter a casino after a period of exclusion from casinos in New Zealand.   
    • Prison Work. Gambling Harm Prevention and Reintegration Programme for Asians who are incarcerated.

    Counselling (Non-gambling)

    Asian Family Services understand that most migrant families from Asian countries experience a high level of stress in their migration process because of the lack of language proficiency and a different culture from the host society. This situation causes some families serious relationship issues. Some people develop mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and so on. AFS provides two free counselling sessions for those who experience such health issues to help them to manage their difficulties and to succeed in their migration. 

    What is counselling?
    The word, counselling, is a foreign term for many Asian countries. Being unfamiliar with counselling can make Asian people hesitant to seek counselling help. Thus it is important for Asians to know about what counselling is and how it works. Counselling is a private and confidential process. You talk in confidence with an experienced, qualified professional who will work with you to help you find ways of coping that are helpful and lasting.

    All the clinical staff in our agency are tertiary qualified and maintain professional memberships.
    If you’ve never been to counselling before, it’s not unusual to feel anxious before the first meeting.  You are welcome to bring a support person along with you to your counselling sessions. For many people, the most helpful thing about counselling is to have someone they can trust to talk to about things that concern them.

    The first appointment is usually between 1 to 1 ½ hours. At this appointment you and your counsellor will talk confidentially and find out how you can best work together.

    At this appointment you will also be asked to fill out some questionnaires, which give the counsellor an idea of how things are going with you. The information from the questionnaires is confidential.

    Later counselling session is generally once per week or fortnightly for 50 minutes, depending on your needs.
    People often ask how long they will need to come to counselling but this varies from person to person. With regard to how many counselling sessions you could have, your counsellor will guide you with this decision.

    Multi Venue Exclusion

    Our organisation can act on behalf of a gambler to request that a gambling provider prevents a gambler from entering a particular gambling venue.

    AFS Wellness Services at Apollo Medical Centre (part of Asian Family Services)

    Charges

    No fees apply for gambling related services.

    Fees may vary depending on services provide for non-gambling counselling.

    Age groups

    • Youth / Rangatahi
    • Adult / Pakeke
    • Older adult / Kaumātua