National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
Expansion of the capacity of the National Gambling Helpline and computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy "GameChange" (GamCare, GA)
The therapist check ins are facilitated with the flexibility of using different means of communication (text, email, phone calls, WhatsApp). This has seen an increase in completion of check in calls at 70%. This year, 1,146 clients completed screening, 490 clients completed module 1, 243 clients completed up to module 4 and 161 clients completed up to module 8. To date over 1,600 users have completed modules in the course. The average number of modules completed across the year is 4.85. Clients continue to prefer to complete interventions rather than all 8 modules. We are launching a new platform in 2023 using ACT approach.
The helpline continues to operate 24 hours a day and has been busy throughout the year to date. Calls have been more challenging, especially overnight, as there are frequently safeguarding concerns among these callers. Staff have appropriate training and support to respond to these. Currently Gamechange is being reviewed and service users consutled around improvements to the modules and overall experience
Due to uptake of our services overnight, we have plans to expand the capacity of the night service.
GameChange has gone through further changes this year to better suit gamblers in the UK, as well being more interactive. The course includes a dedicated screening tool, eight digital modules and a Forum for peer support. 333 clients have completed all eight modules although many more have completed fewer modules and brief interventions. We are investigating the effectiveness of these differing completion rates. The first annual report will be published this year.
"The National Gambling Helpline has been offered 24/7 365 from October 2019 with calls and live chat to the helpline during the new hours midnight to 8am averaging 16% of activity. GamCare launched the computerised CBT product – GameChange – in October 2019 providing alternative options from brief interventions through to 8 sessions of structured cCBT, with contact between sessions with a therapist. At the time of this update (November 2020) 486 people have completed a brief intervention and 145 have completed the course."