According to a new global study from Auckland University of Technology, only one in every 400 adults seeks help for gambling problems (AUT).
The study, co-authored by Dr Simone Rodda, Associate Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at AUT, is the first to estimate how common it is for problem gamblers to seek help.
According to the study, 5.8% of the world’s adult population has a gambling problem, but only 0.2% has sought help.
Meanwhile, one in every five people with severe gambling problems sought help, compared to one in every 25 people with moderate risk gambling.
Rodda stated that more needs to be done to help resolve the issue in Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Maori name.
“Our research shows that the majority of people with gambling problems will never seek treatment,” Rodda said.
“Help-seeking rates in Aotearoa are comparable to global estimates, implying that we can do much more to ensure that gamblers have access to relevant, convenient, and timely help when they need it.”
Rodda and her colleagues had previously attempted to address the issue by developing online screening and self-help tools in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and service providers such as the Problem Gambling Foundation and Salvation Army.
“The challenge is to ensure that this assistance reaches the people who need it,” Rodda added.
“A public health approach to gambling problems should be based on solid evidence of what people are already doing to reduce gambling harm.”
“The first step for someone who has a problem is to talk to someone they already know and trust, such as a friend or their doctor.” In New Zealand, there is also free professional assistance available.”