Many people in New Zealand experience the harms caused by problem gambling, whether it be from their own spending and time lost to the pokies or through that of their loved ones. Overcoming this compulsion is a hard road, but there now exists an ‘Angel in your pocket,’ which may just help to remove some of the obstacles.
The National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland has collaborated with the Ministry of Health to design an app for Android users who no longer find gambling fun and are keen to either reduce the time and money they spend at the pokies, or stop altogether.
The App supports positive behaviour change by providing users with short daily messages to build their confidence and skill set, as well as using GPS to send users messages to aid them in putting their new skills into action when they’re in real world risky situations.
The idea is to provide a discrete form of help when people are feeling their most vulnerable and prevent the return to previous patterns of behaviour.
The content and design are built on the input of focus group members who have all been there, alongside experts at the Problem Gambling Foundation.
The App can be downloaded from