Gambling with Lives Proposes New Treatment Pathway
A new ‘treatment pathway’ has been proposed for those experiencing gambling-related harm by the British-based charity Gambling with Lives.
The new scheme proposes bringing together those apparently harmed by gambling with health experts, the target being to provide treatment and a support system for those affected, including their families.
Funding and Support Sought by GwL
Support for Gambling with Lives is being provided by the NHS and would complement already existing treatment and support systems.
Gambling with Lives has also applied for a settlement fund from the UK Gambling Commission to support a pilot scheme with their partners around Greater Manchester.
The idea is that insights from the new scheme would be used to increase the standard of gambling treatment available nationally. Hopefully, this would include a model for making treatment and care for gambling-related harm part of integrated NHS systems.
As always, the major worry is that in a non-federal system, there really is no need for so many different charities applying for funding for so many different help schemes.
Gambling-related harms are real; we all know and appreciate that in the industry, however central funding and a central message would surely be best for all?
Focus Groups Key to Shaping Scheme
The new scheme was developed by Gambling with Lives staging focus groups with those with lived experience of gambling problems. They also developed workshops and gained input from gambling operators and support services, doctors, and other groups to help shape the new system.
According to Gambling with Lives, the ultimate goal is to ensure that more people can access help and treatment, with early identification of problem gambling being key to the scheme working.
Gambling with Lives is also eager to make sure that people can gain easier access to help and achieve what they want from the support offered, ultimately preventing suicides linked to gambling problems.
Programme Runs in Various Stages
The charity has said that this scheme would need to be embedded within existing provisions in the healthcare sector. With that, frontline professionals will be made aware of its existence and will be able to refer people with gambling problems to the scheme. Of course, as always, this relies on those experiencing problems seeking help in the first place from a medical point of view.
The charity has said the program will run with an initial stage that promotes it and then adds an education programme to make people more aware. Also, Gambling with Lives will run professional outreach projects to identify those deemed suitable for the scheme.
At this point, the scheme identifies the next course of appropriate action, including education on problem gambling, help and advice, motivational interviews, therapeutic treatment, and peer support. This also works for those who have contacted the programme on behalf of someone else.
What Happens Afterwards?
After “treatment” has taken place within the programme, it follows up with participants to monitor progress and evaluate whether or not further help is needed.
The charity said that there are several end goals, including some people stopping gambling completely, improving mental health, feeling a sense of greater empowerment, and better understanding the impact of their own habits on others.
There probably isn’t a single charity related to gambling harms we wouldn’t think is worth existing, but there must surely be a centralising of these efforts to some degree by now.