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Angel Hristov April 13, 2023 4 min read
GambleAware Campaign Challenges Gambling Harm Stigma
The campaign will feature the TV host Tyler West, as well as health professionals and lived experience individuals
GambleAware has probed into gambling stigma, realizing that three in four people suffering from gambling harm are afraid to open up to their loved ones. The study confirmed that stigma is a serious problem that prevents people from seeking help.
Furthermore, one in four people think they know a person who has experienced problem gambling. However, 61% of these people do not wish to talk to them because of the stigma.
GambleAware has also commissioned additional probes into people’s attitudes and perceptions of gambling harm. As it turns out, 62% of the people who know problem gamblers would negatively judge them. Despite that, 56% agree that stigma should be challenged.
GambleAware reiterated that gambling harm can have serious lasting effects on people’s mental health and relationships. Seeking to address this, the charity has launched a new public health campaign, hoping to reduce the stigma associated with problem gambling.
The new campaign will leverage ex-problem gamblers who will share their experience to try to “change societal perceptions and understanding of the issue.”
GambleAware’s Initiative Is Backed by Health Professionals
Zoë Osmond, GambleAware’s chief executive officer, commented on the matter, saying that gambling harms tend to be hidden because many people feel embarrassed to talk about them. She noted that no one is safe from such harm, which is why it is important to break down the stigma and address the issue.
Dr Dame Clare Gerada, president of the Royal College of general practitioners, agrees with Osmond on that matter. She noted that problem gambling can manifest itself in various ways, including mental or physical health issues. General practitioners and the health sector as a whole, Gerada believes, should be able to better help people affected by harm.
Dr Ellie Cannon also spoke on the matter. As a general practitioner, she has already worked with patients seeking support for gambling harms. Cannon understands how challenging tackling such conditions can be and hopes that society will “challenge its outdated attitude towards gambling harms and those who experience them.”
The Charity’s Allies Know the Dangers of Gambling Harm
In the meantime, GambleAware has teamed up with Tyler West, a TV and radio presenter whose brother has experienced gambling harm for several years. West knows how destructive such harm can be and understands that stigma is an obstacle to helping people in need.
Meeting others who have been impacted by gambling harms, like my brother was, has really opened my eyes to the stigma attached to an issue that is very close to my heart and how common it is. We need to do something about this.Tyler West
GambleAware and West worked on a film featuring lived experience individuals. He worked with the leading stigma expert Dr Joanne Lloyd who is just as aware of the dangers of stigma.
Opening up a dialogue is often the first step towards getting help. We know that stigma represents one of the main barriers preventing people experiencing harm from reaching out for support, and so it is essential that we take collective action to tackle this societal issue.Dr Joanne Lloyd
The charity has also partnered with other organizations seeking to mitigate gambling harm in the United Kingdom. As a part of its ongoing campaign, GambleAware seeks to create a united front of companies from the private, third and public sectors.
Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice also shared her thoughts. She noted that harm can affect anyone but people on lower incomes and those living in deprived communities are at a higher risk. She hopes that, with the help of GambleAware, her team will be able to make a change.