National Gambling Support Network Offers Treatment in 3.5 Days

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Thousands supported and short waiting times highlighted on one-year anniversary of the National Gambling Support Network

  • National Gambling Support Network is urging anyone who may be struggling with gambling to contact their local service for free, confidential and personalised help and support.
  • New figures from the GambleAware-commissioned National Gambling Support Network show that people were offered a treatment session in just three and a half days on average.
  • It comes as new data released for the one-year anniversary of the launch of the National Gambling Support Network also reveals the number of calls to the National Gambling Support Network helpline in January of 2024 reached the highest monthly level on record.

The National Gambling Support Network is encouraging people to join the over 28,000 people who have been supported via brief interventions through the National Gambling Support Network helpline since April of 2023 and the thousands who have been supported through their local service provider.

People seeking support for issues with gambling were offered a treatment session with a trained professional in three and a half days on average between October and December of 2023, according to new figures from the GambleAware-commissioned National Gambling Support Network. The data also shows that organisations within the National Gambling Support Network, who are highlighting the free support that is available ahead of this weekend’s Grand National, contacted those seeking treatment in just 1.3 days on average in the last three months of 2023.

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New data from the National Gambling Support Network helpline also shows that there were more calls and online chats made in January of 2024 than any previous month on record – the sixth time the record has broken since the beginning of 2023 – with 4,816 calls and online chats made across the month.

Additional data from the National Gambling Support Network helpline reveals that over 28,000 (28,175) people have been supported via brief interventions – conversations of 20 minutes or more – since April of 2023.

The GambleAware-commissioned National Gambling Support Network comprises 11 different organisations across Great Britain. Services within the National Gambling Support Network offer a seamless experience for people using them locally, regionally and nationally. It offers a range of support for people experiencing harm from gambling – whether their own or someone else’s – including residential treatment, one-to-one support and cognitive behavioural therapy amongst others.

The service was recommissioned in April of 2023 and was expanded to include additional services for people across Great Britain including peer-to-peer support and support with recognising gambling harms among GPs as well as other concerns linked to gambling such as debt advice and financial support.

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Additionally, a recent YouGov survey of over 5,000 United Kingdom participants revealed that people were most likely to choose weekly support sessions with a trained professional as an effective way to reduce gambling harms. Out of the alternative options, two-thirds (66%) of people believed that sessions with trained professionals such as these would be an effective way to reduce harm caused by gambling. Six in ten (59%) also said that tools to block access to gambling websites would be an effective way to control their gambling and 58% chose speaking to a family member.

“Having accessed support through Beacon Counselling Trust years ago myself, I know the positive impact these services can have in rebuilding people’s lives after experiencing gambling harm,” said David Quinti, who was supported by organisations within the National Gambling Support Network. “Talking to a professional each week about what I was experiencing was an enormous step to help understand my relationship with gambling and, ultimately, help me recover from it. I would urge anyone who may be struggling with gambling to reach out.”

“The GambleAware-commissioned National Gambling Support Network is designed to prevent the escalation of harms associated with gambling,” the Chief Commissioning Officer for GambleAware, Anna Hargrave, said. “The National Gambling Support Network provides people with easy access to treatment and support wherever they are across Great Britain. It is heartening to hear the positive impact the services have on people’s lives and the difference they make. These essential third sector providers play a vital role for people across the country and we look forward to continuing to share this expertise and experience alongside the NHS under the new system once a levy is introduced.”

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“Being able to speak to someone if you’re struggling with gambling is a vital tool in curbing gambling harms,” Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said. “The increase in calls to the National Gambling Support Network helpline shows the importance of getting the right help in place for those who may be suffering.

“That’s why in our ‘white paper’ published last year we introduced a range of measures to prevent harms before they occur including stake limits for online slot games and financial risk checks as well as a levy on gambling companies to increase funding for research, prevention and treatment of gambling harms.”

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