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Stories of hope
Personal perspectives of recovery
from a gambling problem and how
they can inform RG
Purpose of the study
• share personal stories of recovery from PG with others
• identify common themes, experiences, routes, helpful
strategies……
• suggest where RG strategy might help PGs and reduce the
likelihood of others developing PG behavior
What we did
• 20 detailed recovery stories (50 pages)
• these people all had serious gambling problems
• posted on www.GamTalk.org ‘Stories of hope’
• analysed using thematic analysis and feedback from GamTalk
members
• stories are from a subjective perspective, but an important one
key
themes
pathways into PG barriers to recovery
epiphaniesfacilitators of recovery
Social factors
playing with friends
parental/family history
early onset of gambling
social isolation
(gambling fills void)
Pathways into
problem gambling
Psychological factors
depression
escape- gambling
is a refuge
living a fantasy, being
someone else- getting
lost, over confidence in
gambling skills,
other addiction issues
Specific events
traumatic events
stress
some big wins
How might responsible gambling initiatives help?
Pathways into problem gambling
• exclude youth
• minimise social isolation- avoid
placing games in isolated areas,
encourage staff to talk to players
(have staff who do just this), provide
online chat services
Social isolation
secrecy,
hidden problem,
not talking, wearing
a mask, withdrawal,
gambling only social
activity
Identity and self-
esteem
shame, guilt, stigma,
helplessness, feel
inadequate, being
someone else, like a
“big-shot” when
gambling
Lack of authenticity
(with self and others)
dishonesty, lies,
emotionally shut-
off/ hide feelings,
denial-convinced
everything is fine.
Control issues
lack direction, don’t
know where to start,
no access to support
or treatment, access
to money, can’t
leave whilst have
money, other
addictions
Money issues
debt, unpaid bills,
work, family/partner
access to
cash/credit, can’t
leave whilst have
money
Triggers
traumatic events,
stress,
some big wins,
having cash/credit,
access to gambling,
Barriers to recovery
How might responsible gambling initiatives help?
Barriers to recovery
• help players find support- provide
easily accessible referral information
(onsite & online e.g. www.GamTalk.org)
• restrict access to cash (ATMs) and
credit
• try to minimise the stigma of PG and
encourage asking for help (promote
stories of hope)
• Effective self-exclusion
I am not alone
discovering that
others have same
problems,
hearing all about
other people’s
problems
It’s ok to be me
I can’t run
from myself,
I can’t change
others only myself,
accepting blame
Hope
seeing that
others recover,
realising they have choices,
finding support,
being accepted by others,
a new person in
their life
Gambling is not
going to solve this
no one big win to solve
all problems,
gambling is a loser club
and I am the loser,
if I do win I will just
lose it all again
Epiphanies
Epiphanies
• publicise that some players have
problems but do go on to
recover
• emphasise that gambling is
never about making money
• provide players with feedback on
their gambling behaviour
How might responsible gambling initiatives help?
Social inclusion
accepting help,
using onsite/online
support, letting it all out,
connecting with others,
make non-gambling friends,
change lifestyle,
do other things
Build identity
self-esteem
gain hope,
learn about self,
proud of self, want to
recover, doing it for self,
confidence but not
over confidence
Authenticity
living in the light,
accountability,
accepting self,
spirituality (self-
awareness, a right
way, transformation)
emotional radar
Control
accept that control
over gambling gone,
ODAAT, focus on moment,
limit access to money &
opportunity, better coping,
direction/a path,
treatment/support
Facilitators
of recovery
Facilitators of recovery
• limit access to gambling through
effective self-exclusion (onsite &
online)
• have staff available who can talk
to distressed players (onsite &
online)
How might responsible gambling initiatives help?
Conclusions
• These were very vulnerable people
• The problems were heavily focused on individual issues
• These accounts are subjective personal perspectives
• RG strategy can assist very vulnerable players
– Give them hope: good referral options, onsite/online support and
interactions
– Communicate: talk to players, help them to be more aware of their
behaviour
– Restrict Access: for youth, limit cash and credit, self-exclusion
www.GamTalk.org
info@gamtalk.org
Thanks for listening
Any questions?
To provide session feedback:
• Open New Horizons app
• Select Agenda tile
• Select this session
• Select Take Survey at bottom of screen
If you are unable to download app,
please raise your hand for a paper version

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Dr. Richard Wood - Stories of Hope: How Personal Accounts of Recovery can Inform Responsible Gambling Strategy

  • 1. Stories of hope Personal perspectives of recovery from a gambling problem and how they can inform RG
  • 2. Purpose of the study • share personal stories of recovery from PG with others • identify common themes, experiences, routes, helpful strategies…… • suggest where RG strategy might help PGs and reduce the likelihood of others developing PG behavior
  • 3. What we did • 20 detailed recovery stories (50 pages) • these people all had serious gambling problems • posted on www.GamTalk.org ‘Stories of hope’ • analysed using thematic analysis and feedback from GamTalk members • stories are from a subjective perspective, but an important one
  • 4. key themes pathways into PG barriers to recovery epiphaniesfacilitators of recovery
  • 5. Social factors playing with friends parental/family history early onset of gambling social isolation (gambling fills void) Pathways into problem gambling Psychological factors depression escape- gambling is a refuge living a fantasy, being someone else- getting lost, over confidence in gambling skills, other addiction issues Specific events traumatic events stress some big wins
  • 6. How might responsible gambling initiatives help? Pathways into problem gambling • exclude youth • minimise social isolation- avoid placing games in isolated areas, encourage staff to talk to players (have staff who do just this), provide online chat services
  • 7. Social isolation secrecy, hidden problem, not talking, wearing a mask, withdrawal, gambling only social activity Identity and self- esteem shame, guilt, stigma, helplessness, feel inadequate, being someone else, like a “big-shot” when gambling Lack of authenticity (with self and others) dishonesty, lies, emotionally shut- off/ hide feelings, denial-convinced everything is fine. Control issues lack direction, don’t know where to start, no access to support or treatment, access to money, can’t leave whilst have money, other addictions Money issues debt, unpaid bills, work, family/partner access to cash/credit, can’t leave whilst have money Triggers traumatic events, stress, some big wins, having cash/credit, access to gambling, Barriers to recovery
  • 8. How might responsible gambling initiatives help? Barriers to recovery • help players find support- provide easily accessible referral information (onsite & online e.g. www.GamTalk.org) • restrict access to cash (ATMs) and credit • try to minimise the stigma of PG and encourage asking for help (promote stories of hope) • Effective self-exclusion
  • 9. I am not alone discovering that others have same problems, hearing all about other people’s problems It’s ok to be me I can’t run from myself, I can’t change others only myself, accepting blame Hope seeing that others recover, realising they have choices, finding support, being accepted by others, a new person in their life Gambling is not going to solve this no one big win to solve all problems, gambling is a loser club and I am the loser, if I do win I will just lose it all again Epiphanies
  • 10. Epiphanies • publicise that some players have problems but do go on to recover • emphasise that gambling is never about making money • provide players with feedback on their gambling behaviour How might responsible gambling initiatives help?
  • 11. Social inclusion accepting help, using onsite/online support, letting it all out, connecting with others, make non-gambling friends, change lifestyle, do other things Build identity self-esteem gain hope, learn about self, proud of self, want to recover, doing it for self, confidence but not over confidence Authenticity living in the light, accountability, accepting self, spirituality (self- awareness, a right way, transformation) emotional radar Control accept that control over gambling gone, ODAAT, focus on moment, limit access to money & opportunity, better coping, direction/a path, treatment/support Facilitators of recovery
  • 12. Facilitators of recovery • limit access to gambling through effective self-exclusion (onsite & online) • have staff available who can talk to distressed players (onsite & online) How might responsible gambling initiatives help?
  • 13. Conclusions • These were very vulnerable people • The problems were heavily focused on individual issues • These accounts are subjective personal perspectives • RG strategy can assist very vulnerable players – Give them hope: good referral options, onsite/online support and interactions – Communicate: talk to players, help them to be more aware of their behaviour – Restrict Access: for youth, limit cash and credit, self-exclusion
  • 15. To provide session feedback: • Open New Horizons app • Select Agenda tile • Select this session • Select Take Survey at bottom of screen If you are unable to download app, please raise your hand for a paper version