A report of GamCare’s training sessions for professionals has revealed that 85% of its participants improved their understanding of gambling harms – including how to identify women in need of support.
GamCare’s Women’s Programme looks to create systemic change across policy, research and treatment to address the under-representation of women seeking support and accessing treatment, throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
The evaluation report was produced by inFocus Consulting whilst the programme delivered training to 918 organisations across the UK. After receiving training, 97% of professionals understood how problem gambling impacts women they work with, with 96% of professionals reporting improved confidence in their ability to signpost and refer women to gambling support services.
Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, commented: “We’re encouraged to see improved access for women using GamCare’s treatment and support services, and increased reach in our professionals training, which delivers improved understanding of how gambling harm impacts women.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in the percentage of women contacting the National Gambling Helpline for support. At GamCare, we know that stigma and shame are a key barrier to women disclosing concerns, either about their own gambling or someone close to them.”
Over the past year, there has been a 6% increase in the number of women accessing gambling support in the UK. The programme now looks to increase access to further support, and has supported the development of a women-only chat room and a women-only support group.
The firm stated that it will train professionals from organisations that work in currently underrepresented sectors, such as social care and youth services, since these organisations have closer proximity to women who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, gambling-related harms.
Hemmings continued: “The Women’s Programme works to reduce stigma, which affects women at risk of experiencing gambling harms, to better understand and break down the barriers they face when seeking treatment. Over the next year, we want to continue to raise awareness of how gambling harm affects women and to signpost the gambling support services available for women.”
In addition to this, the programme will also work in a bid to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals, and build stronger relationships with departments of the NHS and other healthcare service providers.
Dr Damian Hatton, Managing Director and Senior Evaluator at inFocus Consulting, concluded: “It has been a great pleasure to work with such a dedicated group of professionals, who are clearly committed to the advancement of gambling related support and services for women, which has been historically overlooked.
“We are excited to see how the insights from the evaluation can be put to best use in the coming months and years.”