A team of Medical Students from the University of Sheffield are hoping to be awarded part of £60m on offer provided by gambling firms to support responsible gambling initiatives. The students are in the process of developing an app called Bet on Me, that uses CBT ( Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ) to change how a gambling addict thinks and reacts.
CBT is used widely in treating mental health illnesses and the students are designing the app with the idea in mind that it will make gambling addicts and those with a gambling problem more aware of the triggers, that cause them to gamble.
As part of the development of Bet on Me, the students are in the process of performing market research with gambling addicts, after which they will appoint an app developer to bring their idea into reality. With the group hoping to launch the app by December.
One of the students involved, Minal Jain, said of Bet on Me: “It’s encouraging to see big gambling firms waking up to the addictive nature of the industry, but the money needs to be spent on activity that is likely to have the best impact.”
“We want this app to be the first step of the treatment ladder, followed by face-to-face CBT sessions with psychiatrists and psychologists. Our app is built upon research we have done with around 20 genuine gambling addicts – finding out why they remained engaged with the app and what parts they didn’t feel worked.”
“The app is similar to a companion who is always there to support with timely alerts to help people at their most vulnerable moments. It is set to be ready to go by the end of December, and we are hoping to pitch the product to gambling operators, gambling charities and the NHS.”