National Gambling Treatment Service Campaign
GambleAware launched a new campaign in early 2020 to raise awareness of the treatment available through the National Gambling Treatment Service. The campaign ran on digital media, radio, pubs, motor way service stations, in GP surgeries and health publications.
Background to the campaign
- Treatment penetration for gambling disorder is currently low – estimated to be at just 1-2% .
- The Treatment Needs & Gap Analysis research indicates that there is strong demand for treatment and support amongst people suffering gambling harm. Evidence also suggests that if there was more awareness of the support that is available, it would motivate people to seek treatment .
- The National Gambling Treatment Service campaign seeks to promote self-referrals amongst those who are high risk of, or are currently experiencing, gambling disorder by directing them to the National Gambling Helpline and online support at BeGambleAware.org.
GambleAware launched a new campaign during February and March 2020 to raise awareness of the treatment available through the National Gambling Treatment Service. The campaign ran on digital media, radio, pubs, motor way service stations, in GP surgeries and health publications. The campaign aims to drive the audience to call the National Gambling Helpline or visit the National Gambling Treatment Service landing page – begambleaware.org/NGTS.
The National Gambling Treatment Service
The National Gambling Treatment Service works with, and alongside, the National Health Service. It is free at the point of delivery, provides telephone, online and face-to-face treatment for individuals and groups, across Great Britain. Self-referrals through the 24/7 National Gambling Helpline are the main route for accessing the treatment, which is provided by a network of NHS trusts and voluntary sector organisations.
The campaign draws upon the insight that people with gambling problems feel disconnected from their family and friends and is based on promoting confidence that treatment is easy to access and will help them overcome their struggles with gambling.
The campaign is also seeking to raise awareness of gambling treatment among primary care staff. This is so that GPs and practice nurses can signpost people to the National Gambling Helpline if they identify a patient has a gambling problem.
The National Gambling Treatment Service is part of an overarching strategy to help more people at risk of, or suffering from, gambling disorder. Additional investment is also directed at increasing the capacity of treatment services, expanding the number of locations where treatment is delivered, and offering new options for accessing treatment.
This initiative is part of the collaborative approach which was announced in NHS England’s Mental Health Implementation Plan.
The National Gambling Treatment Service Campaign
The campaign is based around the sense of “when you’re there, but not there”. For a person with a gambling problem, whose mind is constantly preoccupied with gambling related anxiety, everyday places become lonely places.
Places of interaction with family and friends become places of isolation. The mind is increasingly preoccupied with urges to bet and worries over bills and debts. The campaign acts as a reminder of the relationships and love they have around them and what they have to gain by quitting. Alongside these reasons to pick up the phone, the campaign seeks to engender a sense of optimism that these benefits can be realised.
The campaign has now run across four bursts of activity targeting 25-55-year-old men (with a specific focus on men aged 25-34 years old):
- Burst 1: 1st Feb - 30th April 2020 – across digital, radio, out of home (OOH) & healthcare publications
- Burst 2: 6th July - 31st August 2020 – across digital, radio and print media (regional and national)
- Burst 3: 10th December 2020 - 31st January 2021 – across digital, radio and print media. The targeting for the third burst is based on the Treatment Needs and Gap Analysis research and interactive map of gambling prevalence PGSI 1-7 and PGSI 8+ at local authority level across Britain. The maps identified London and East/West Midlands as areas of high risk which should be focused on.
- Burst 4: 26th July - 22nd August 2021 – across digital, radio, out of home (OOH) & print media with regional upweights in London and East and West Midlands. These upweighted areas were again based on the Treatment Needs and Gap Analysis research and interactive map of gambling prevalence PGSI 1-7 and PGSI 8+ at local authority level across Britain.
All bursts of activity have been monitored with a Tracking Study conducted by Ipsos MORI. A summary of the Tracking Study results can be viewed here.
Campaign for: End Users
Campaign for: Healthcare Professionals
To date, the campaign has only targeted men. However, there is evidence  to suggest that women would benefit from this campaign noting that:
- The number of women experiencing gambling harms has increased over the last decade.
- Women are more likely to be an ‘affected other’ than men.
- Demand for treatment and support/advice is higher among female gamblers with higher PGSI scores (higher amongst younger and minority ethnic female gamblers).
- For female ‘problem gamblers’ (PGSI score 8+), stigma was identified a key barrier to accessing treatment, support or advice to cut down their gambling. Two in five (39%) female ‘problem gamblers’ perceived stigma as a barrier (39% vs 22% when compared to men who are PGSI 8+).
- Younger female gamblers were both more likely than older female gamblers, and men of the same age, to have sought treatment and/or support/advice in order to cut down their gambling.
With this in mind, a campaign targeting women aged 18-54 ran across digital channels alongside radio and magazines from January 2021-March 2021. This activity was monitored with a Tracking Study conducted by Ipsos MORI.
Campaign for: End Users
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