In 2020 Great Britain received the results of its first-ever Treatment Needs and Gap Analysis report, and the results were not ideal. In short, it found that 50% of all problem gamblers had not accessed any form of treatment or support structure to help them overcome their situation.
Glaring Duty of Care Gap
The report noted that women and BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) communities were underserved in terms of education surrounding and access to adequate gambling harms related services and support.
Their reluctance to access the support available to them hinged on the following points:
- Lack of understanding of the support and services available to them.
- Ashamed of the stigma associated with gambling addiction (27% noted this)
- Refusal to admit they have a problem, despite scoring high in compulsive behaviour testing (17% noted this)
The research also found that women, regardless of ethnicity, were three times as likely to put off getting help due to cost and time constraints. Once again proving that the current support system in the United Kingdom needs to be restructured to meet the needs of its people.
Education Is Key
Addressing issues of location and time constraints is a longer-term conversation that GambleAware is committed to addressing, however in the short term they have opted to build on the success of their above the line media campaigns, this time focusing on the needs of women.
The following findings support the belief that this campaign will be of value in correcting the gender bias in the current recognition and treatment process:
- The number of women experiencing gambling harms has increased over the last decade.
- Women are more likely to be an ‘affected other’ than men.
- Demand for treatment and support/advice is higher among female gamblers with higher PGSI scores (higher amongst younger and minority ethnic female gamblers).
- For female ‘problem gamblers’ (PGSI score 8+), stigma was identified a key barrier to accessing treatment, support or advice to cut down their gambling. Two in five (39%) female ‘problem gamblers’ perceived stigma as a barrier (39% vs 22% when compared to men who are PGSI 8+).
- Younger female gamblers were both more likely than older female gamblers, and men of the same age, to have sought treatment and/or support/advice in order to cut down their gambling.
The campaign tagline of “When You’re There, but Not There.” strikes at the heart of addictions strongest weapon, isolation.
Feelings of guilt, insecurity and the need to continually feed one’s addiction causes separation, which further compounds feelings of guilt, insecurity and leads to addictive behaviour as a way of self-soothing. Truly a vicious circle.
The campaign runs till the end of March 2021, focusing on women aged 18-54, on local radio stations, in magazines and across several online media channels. At which time there will be a review of the number of women and minorities seeking assistance, in order to determine the real world impact of the campaign on negatively impacted members of the population.