GambleAware has reported that most people who have completed scheduled treatment have seen an improvement in their harmful gambling behaviour over the past year.
Within its annual statistics for the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) for 2021/22, the problem gambling charity also stated that 86% of those that completed their treatment saw their psychological well-being surrounding their gambling improve.
Commissioned by GambleAware, the NGTS is a network of organisations that offer confidential treatment and support to those experiencing gambling-related harms, including GamCare and its partner network, Gordon Moody and NHS treatment centres.
Free to access across England, Scotland and Wales, the service is accessible via telephone, online and face-to-face support for individuals and groups.
Out of 7,072 people who received treatment between April 2021 and March 2022, 63% of people were able to complete their treatment. Of that percentage, 92% showed improvement in their Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) score, which is used to measure harmful gambling behaviour.
86% of people that completed treatment saw a reduction in their psychological distress regarding their gambling behaviour, which is measured via the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (Core-10) measure
GambleAware has stated that the NGTS data shows the service “continues to be a fast and effective route for those experiencing gambling harms to improve their gambling behaviour and psychological distress”.
“It is extremely encouraging to see that the National Gambling Treatment Service continues to improve the lives of those who experience gambling harms and remains a highly effective treatment option,” commented Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware.
“It is also encouraging to see the fall in those accessing more advanced treatment balanced out with more and more people accessing the helpline and other services as a means of support. Gambling harms can affect anyone and it is important to encourage people to seek support and treatment early on.”
57% of referrals to the service came from the National Gambling Helpline, while 26% were self-made referrals. 50% of service users were given their first appointment within five days of contacting the NGTS, and 75% within 12 days, with treatment lasting ten weeks on average.
GambleAware’s report also provided data on gambling harms as a public health concern, as it revealed online was the most common location gambling, with a higher usage amongst younger age groups.
It also revealed an increasing number of women are contacting the service, with most being “affected others”. 14% of both men and women who contacted the NGTS fell into this category.
Osmond added: “We remain committed to ensuring that we work closely with our partners to understand how we can further optimise uptake and retention.
“We also acknowledge the urgent need to raise awareness of the service and improve access to it across the diverse range of populations and people that could stand to benefit from treatment.”