UK independent charity GambleAware announced Tuesday it has awarded a £350,000 ($431,000) grant to help examine further the link of gambling harm with stigma and discrimination.
Stigma and Discrimination
GambleAware awarded the funds to the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the University of Wolverhampton to support their collaboration with Liverpool John Moore University in examining how people who experience gambling harms are affected by stigma and discrimination.
The announcement of the funding came shortly after another research funded by GambleAware which examined gambling harms experienced by the white majority and minority groups in Great Britain showed large ethnic-related disproportions.
Commenting on the announcement, Anna Hargrave, chief commissioning officer at GambleAware, outlined the limited availability of research into stigma and gambling in Great Britain and the need for breaking down “the substantive barrier of stigmatization – and the discrimination it drives – faced by those experiencing gambling harms and their communities.”
Examine Different Societal Groups
The research will seek to determine how people experiencing gambling harm are also being stigmatized and discriminated against by analyzing different societal groups, including service and healthcare providers, civil society, third sector and charitable organizations, media and politics, and the gambling industry in general.
“Stigmatization causes significant harm in and of itself and can lead to people feeling shame, experiencing mental health challenges and social exclusion,” Hargrave added, further noting that it can also “stop people from accessing essential support or treatment services such as the National Gambling Treatment Service.”
Both organizations funded by GambleAware will also examine the disproportions in the impact of stigmatization across communities and the reasons behind these disproportions, considering the link with gambling addictions in addition to other challenges such as drug use, anxiety or depression, or lived experience of homelessness.
Determine Approach to Challenging Stigma
The end goal of the research is to identify what services, interventions, information campaigns and policies will be effective in challenging stigmatization, including in research and the media, to help reduce gambling harms for communities that are impacted most by stigma.
This research with NatCen and the University of Wolverhampton will be an important step towards a program of work that builds more knowledge in this area.
Anna Hargrave, CCO, GambleAware
The research is expected to deliver its findings in 2024 as GambleAware intends to focus on stigma in the next two years, planning to launch a major behavior change campaign to help reduce the stigma associated with gambling harm.