GambleAware – Deeper research needed to tackle the illness of gambling disorders

GambleAware has published its ‘quarterly briefing note’, highlighting the work the charity has undertaken with diverse organisations in reducing problem gambling harms across the UK.

The briefing note provides industry stakeholders with an update on GambleAware’s commissioning of directives to support the delivery of the National Gambling Treatment Service.

Furthermore, the charity providers an update on, national public health campaigns such as ‘Bet Regret‘ and its support of RET programmes improving knowledge of what works with regards to gambling harm prevention.

Driving its mandate, GambleAware cites official statistics that estimate that two million UK adults are experiencing some form of gambling harm including 340,000 ‘problem gamblers’.

In its latest update, GambleAware highlights ‘gambling disorder’ as a key area it is tackling, as research commissioned on ‘treatment needs and a gap analysis’ indicates that 1-in-2 people with disorders have not accessed any treatment or support.

The charity states its concerns that there may be resistance by people seeking help on gambling disorders, be it personal barriers, social stigmas or a lack of awareness of the illness.

As a result, GambleAware states that further work is required in raising public awareness of ‘hidden addiction’ nuances that may go unnoticed by family friends and are hard to define by policymakers, health & advice professionals.

Scientific progress on ‘gambling disorder’ has seen the World Health Organisation (WHO) classify the illness as an addictive behaviour with implications for mental health, which for some individuals can result in suicide.

GambleAware commissioned its first UK gap analysis on treatment needs in May 2020, examining limitations stopping vulnerable people accessing treatment support, tracked against estimates.

With regards to UK gambling’s £100m pledge on supporting treatment services, GambleAware states that it continues to strengthen its network working NHS, public health agencies, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations across England, Scotland and Wales.

Working with diverse public health stakeholders, in March 2021 GambleAware will publish its new five-year strategy.

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