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Helpline Key Player In International Think Tank

New Zealand’s Gambling Helpline Key Player In International Think Tank

The world’s leading authorities on problem gambling will examine current international developments in gambling research and practice at the third annual International Gambling Think Tank, next week.

With over 18,000 contacts each year, New Zealand’s Gambling Helpline is a world leading resource for problem gamblers, according to findings of the 2006 International Gambling Helpline Workshop held in the United States. The complete findings will be presented by Gambling Helpline chief executive, Krista Ferguson, at the Think Tank in Auckland on 11-12 September.

“The New Zealand Gambling Helpline model is one of only two in the world that offers a full range of integrated problem gambling help services [1], which we have found make a crucial difference in minimising gambling harm for clients.

“New Zealand’s role in hosting the Think Tank reflects our strong international reputation for providing innovative support services for people experiencing gambling problems,” said Ms Ferguson.

The Think Tank is being co-hosted by the Gambling Helpline and AUT University.

A key contributor at the Think Tank is Dr David Hodgins, Professor of the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. A leading expert in the area of addiction recovery, Dr Hodgins will present his latest research which explores the effectiveness of minimal interventions delivered over the phone and using guided self-help workbooks.

Ms Ferguson says the Gambling Helpline has been in discussion with David Hodgins during the past year to see if there is any way to replicate his research in the New Zealand context.

“This approach worked for people with gambling problems in Canada. We’d like to see if it works here. As a service we like to explore any opportunities to effectively deliver support to New Zealanders harmed by gambling. This would provide an opportunity to combine our eight years of experience with the results of a successful research project.”

Ms Ferguson says the Think Tank provides a valuable opportunity for international discussion and collaboration between service providers, researchers, policy makers and the gambling industry.

The Think Tank is held in conjunction with the 2006 International Problem Gambling Conference being held in Auckland on 13-15 September.

If you are worried about your own gambling or that of someone close to you call the Gambling Helpline on 0800 654 655 or visit www.gamblingproblem.co.nz.

For international information and helpline services visit: www.gamblingproblemhelplines.com.


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