Posted on 25 October 2010
Good progress has been made over the last year in developing research, education and treatment initiatives to tackle gambling-related harm, according to the 2010 Strategy unveiled by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).
The Strategy, which builds on the RGSB's 2009 strategic plan, will result in more cost-efficient, targeted ways of tackling gambling-related harm and will boost the planning of prevention, education and treatment services nation-wide.
The RGSB is the national authoritative voice on gambling-related harm issues, and was set up in late 2008 to advise the Gambling Commission on a national responsible gambling strategy. Today, it outlines the key activities and approaches it is endorsing in its latest Strategy. These include:
- Programmes aimed at early - and improved - identification of those who might have problems, and alternative ways in which they can get help. These initiatives encourage partnerships between gambling-related harm treatment services and community organisations, substance misuse agencies, money advice providers, and health and social care providers.
- Initiatives aimed at engaging parents and their children, as well as university students, in understanding the risks associated with gambling, as well as looking at the benefits of early intervention. The Board argues strongly that there is a need for appropriate information about gambling to be available to young people, particularly those who are most vulnerable, in ways that suit their ways of life, such as via the internet and social networking sites.
- Research that will increase understanding of how technology, training and promotion can help with self-exclusion and setting limits for gamblers who want to help themselves.
- A study which will outline how best to target the use of money for research aimed at looking at the long-term experiences of gamblers.
- Development of robust quality assurance practices amongst gambling-related harm treatment service providers, leading to a common framework setting out the requirements and responsibilities for all treatment providers.
- The next steps in working with professional associations to develop a training programme for GPs and others who might best identify those experiencing harm or at risk of doing so, at an early stage.
- Early stages in the development of a suite of National Occupational Standards for individuals working in gambling risk and harm-related fields.
- A common approach to collecting information from those providing treatment for problem gamblers nationwide, in order to enhance understanding about what works and what methods users find most helpful.
- Using research funding strategically to inform public policy in practical ways, through evidence-based education, prevention and treatment programmes.
- Widening participation in gambling-related research across different fields, so adding to the body of high-quality information available.
- Mining data from the national British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS) to focus education, prevention, treatment and research on those most likely to need support.
Commenting, Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE, chair of the RGSB, said:
"We've made good progress over the last year, but it is still early days in the life of the Board. I am delighted to report that we have been able to make good use of the available data to inform the RGSB's Strategy thus far. Our work is being boosted by new alliances, alongside existing partnerships, and this gives us a solid basis for planning prevention, education and treatment services nationwide."
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