Ninety-five percent of people seeking help from Odyssey House Victoria each year experience financial issues. These are often highly complex, linked directly or indirectly to their substance use and/or co-occurring mental health issues.
Odyssey House delivers one of only a handful of specialist AOD financial counselling services in Victoria, recognising that our clients’ ability to take control of their lives, live independently and manage their finances is integral to their recovery from substance dependency.
Financial stressors can easily become triggers for relapse and a return to problematic drug use. Financial recovery is therefore intrinsically linked with AOD recovery.
Odyssey House’s clients do not usually access mainstream financial services, because of stigma (being perceived as less worthy or hard to engage) and because few providers understand or are skilled in addressing many of the complex issues involved. In fact, our service constantly receives referrals from generalist financial counsellors who are not equipped to deal with many of the issues our clients face.
The need for our financial counselling service continues to grow, partly driven by significant increases in referrals of women experiencing family violence who are burdened by crippling debts imposed upon them by abusive partners.
Although attracting ongoing funding for our financial counselling service remains a challenge, we continue to prioritise this within our wrap-around model of holistic AOD treatment.