BeGambleAware August Update

Date: 26th August 2022

One of our partners – BeGambleAware, an organisation who are committed to help those suffering from gambling-related harms have this week released the following August update, explaining all that is to come in the coming months for the organisation.

Courtesy of BeGambleAware:

Recommissioning the National Gambling Treatment Service

A key focus for GambleAware this financial year has been to review and reshape the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) to ensure it meets the growing and changing needs of those at risk of gambling harm.

Our 2021 Treatment and Support Survey suggests that as many as many as 1 in 20 who gamble are experiencing harm. Whilst the NGTS currently delivers very good outcomes, this is for a small group of people compared to the wider population experiencing gambling harms. Currently, just over half of people experiencing gambling harm report having accessed any form of treatment in the last year.

To identify what works well and what needs to improve, we commissioned an independent review that involved in-depth engagement with gambling harm providers, people with lived experience and NHS and Local Authority partners. The review identified a need to:

•    build integrated services around the needs of people experiencing gambling harms
•    be joined-up in raising awareness of gambling harms in communities
•    develop a clear set of delivery outcomes that works in local systems
•    facilitate referrals, not only signpost
•    invest in early intervention
•    value short-term support and treatment in tandem with support to manage in the long-term
•    and define clear intent and funding for innovation.

From this work an Outcomes Framework and Service Blueprint have been produced to shape the future system and these have been shared with our partners. Additionally we issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) for regional treatment and support alliances. These will:

•    provide long-term stability and cohesion across support and treatment services
•    inform partners of how we plan to work with them to deliver high-quality, localised services to greater numbers of people experiencing gambling harm
•    and ensure providers have a clear outcomes and measurement framework.

GambleAware will work with stakeholders and partners on this new delivery system over the coming months, with the new system to be in place by April 2023.



Aftercare and Community Resilience funds

We recently launched new funding for local providers to deliver vital aftercare and community resilience work. The £2 million Aftercare Funding Programme will support projects to help prevent relapse for people in recovery from gambling harm. Successful applicants will receive funding for 2-3 years and an evaluation will be commissioned to build evidence in this area. Applications are now closed and are currently being assessed, with projects to commence from November.

We also launched the £1m Community Resilience Fund designed to address inequalities experienced by disadvantaged communities which have been exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis. We have received over 60 applications with successful applicants to be notified at the end of September. Alongside this an Organisational Resilience fund has also been made available to all GambleAware funded treatment providers.



Interactive maps of gambling harms prevalence

We recently launched our updated interactive maps of Great Britain, which identify gambling harms prevalence by local area, as well as usage of and reported demand for treatment and support for gambling harms. These are based on three years of Treatment and Support Survey data.

The maps give a robust understanding of the needs of local populations, including some of the differences at a local authority and parliamentary constituency level. We anticipate they will be useful for national and local public health teams and healthcare commissioners in building their understanding of gambling in their local authority area.



Online gambling behaviours research

We commissioned the Patterns of Play research to better understand online gambling behaviour in Great Britain. The research was carried out by researchers from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the University of Liverpool.

The resulting report found that participation and spend on gaming products such as slot, casino and bingo games online are disproportionately concentrated in the most deprived areas of Great Britain. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that gambling harms disproportionately impact the most deprived communities.

We welcome the recommendations which we will use to guide our future public health campaigns, as part of our work to break down barriers for people when accessing treatment and support.



Guidance on stigmatising language

The organisation has a clear focus over the coming months and years on reducing stigma and the barriers people face when accessing the support they need. To support our understanding we recently published a new scoping study which shows that a significant amount of published research on gambling harms uses stigmatising language. It makes a number of key recommendations for future best practice across research, service provision, policy and media campaigns.

Recommendations include using person-first language, which underlines that gambling disorder is a mental disorder, not a label or identity, and that a person with gambling disorder ‘has’ a problem, rather than ‘is’ the problem. For example: using ‘person with a gambling disorder’ or ‘person who struggles with gambling’ instead of ‘gambling addict’ or ‘problem gambler’.

The recommendations will strengthen our work, including public health campaigns, to raise awareness of gambling harms and encourage people to get help.



10th Annual Conference

This year sees the 10th Annual Conference, focussed on ‘Taking action to tackle gambling harms as a public health issue and our ambition is to create a varied and engaging agenda.

To ensure we are sharing best practice we are seeking input from the research, prevention and treatment sectors, and voices of communities who have experienced gambling harms, to share their work and experience.

This is an opportunity for a diverse audience to hear more about the broad range of work being delivered to help prevent gambling harms in Great Britain.

Applicants are encouraged to explore a range of topics which can be applicable to the overarching theme of public health, such as:

  • Stigma
  • Inequalities
  • Cost of living crisis
  • Population health
  • Regulation

Applications are open until 12pm, 25th August.

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