The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the University of Wolverhampton, in collaboration with Liverpool John Moores University, will look to identify how people who experience gambling harms are stigmatised and discriminated against by a range of groups and sectors across society.
Highlighted areas include service and healthcare providers, civil society and third sector and charitable organisations, their communities and families, popular media and in political and policy discourse and the gambling industry in general.
The research will also establish which communities are disproportionately impacted by stigmatisation and why, as well as how stigma can intersect and affect people who struggle with gambling in addition to other challenges.
In addition, the initiative will identify the services, interventions, information campaigns and policies required to challenge stigmatisation and aim to reduce gambling harms for stigmatised communities.
Findings are due to be made available in 2024.
“Currently there is limited research into stigma and gambling in Great Britain,” GambleAware chief commissioning officer Anna Hargrave said. “We know further research is needed to break down the substantive barrier of stigmatisation – and the discrimination it drives – faced by those experiencing gambling harms and their communities.
“Stigmatisation causes significant harm in and of itself and can lead to people feeling shame, experiencing mental health challenges and social exclusion. We also know that stigma can stop people from accessing essential support or treatment services such as the National Gambling Treatment Service.
“This research with NatCen and the University of Wolverhampton will be an important step towards a programme of work that builds more knowledge in this area.”
GambleAware said stigma would be a major focus of its work in 2023 and 2024, including plans to launch a major new behaviour change campaign in spring to the reduce the stigma associated with gambling harms.
Last month, independent evaluation commissioned by GambleAware revealed that stigma remains a personal and social barrier to people in Scotland seeking help for gambling harm.
This month, GambleAware also awarded £2.0m in funding to 10 organisations across Great Britain aiding the long-term recovery of people who have experienced gambling harms.
The funding, issued by GambleAware’s Aftercare Funding Programme, will be used to support the delivery of additional support that people might require as part of their ongoing recovery.
Organisations were chosen following a selection process that involved a panel of experts, including two members with lived experience of gambling harm.
In addition, GambleAware last month said it would distribute £1.2m to 22 organisations across Great Britain through its Community Resilience Fund to support individuals and communities affected by gambling harms.