- GambleAware has launched a new campaign called “Let’s open up about gambling”
- New campaign will look to tackle gambling stigma
- The campaign is supported by multiple organizations and popular public figures
GambleAware aims to remove the stigma around gambling harms by launching a new campaign called “Let’s open up about gambling”. Produced by the charity’s new creative agency, Lucky Generals, the main goal of the campaign is to encourage people with gambling problems to seek support and open up about their gambling.
Stigma – Key Barrier to Talking About Gambling Harm
GambleAware’s new national public health campaign is informed by new research which found that stigma and discrimination are major barriers to talking about gambling harms.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos, shows that 75% of people affected by gambling harms are not comfortable sharing their problems with loved ones. Furthermore, the majority (61%) of those who know someone with gambling issues are put off talking to the affected individual because of concerns regarding stigma and discrimination.
Some are hesitant to bring up the topic due to worries over how the affected person will react. Others opt not to discuss it as they could make those experiencing gambling harms feel ashamed or guilty. Most of the survey respondents (62%) believe that those dealing with gambling problems are judged negatively by the wider society.
Gambling Stigma Must End
Zoe Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, noted that many people suffering from gambling harm often choose not to open up to their families and loved ones because of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This is why there is a need to break down the stigma associated with gambling harms to encourage more people to talk about their gambling problems and seek support and treatment, she said.
Osmond’s views are echoed by Citizens Advice Chief Executive Dame Clare Moriarty who said anyone can fall victim to gambling harms, with people on lower incomes and those living in more deprived communities more prone to experiencing gambling problems.
Citizens Advice is among organizations supporting GambleAware’s Let’s open up about gambling campaign which is also backed by prominent public figures, including English television and radio presenter Tyler West and Dr. Ellie Cannon, who writes weekly health pages on Mailonline and appears regularly on various TV programs.
Cannon said she has encountered several patients struggling with gambling problems and they are not different from those dealing with alcohol or drug addiction. Cannon said stigma remains one of the key reasons why affected people choose to suffer in silence and it must end.