GambleAware’s evaluation uncovers negative effects of stigma
GambleAware recently conducted an evaluation of its Scottish gambling help initiative, which identified stigma as a major barrier to entry for getting professional help for many people.
The program, which GambleAware conducts in collaboration with Citizens Advice Scotland, aims to train certain public workers to identify those prone to or already experiencing various gambling harms.
The charity recently hired the market research firm Kantar Public to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative and to survey the experiences of early participants. Its main findings were largely positive, with over two thousand professionals having received training and over 97% of them being satisfied with the program.
However, the evaluation also uncovered that stigma remained a major roadblock to those experiencing gambling problems, both on a personal and social level. The main reason for this is the limited public understanding of these harms, which leads to many people shying away from seeking help.
Furthermore, the evaluation found that many of the participants were hesitant to ask questions that would help them identify gambling harms among their customers, which is also largely driven by stigma.
The evaluation made a few suggestions to counter the issue, such as producing clearer guidelines for how to seamlessly ask those important questions without having an awkward conversation and educating participants on the severity of various gambling harms on a deeper level.
“Our latest evaluation provided quite valuable information that will help us improve our Scottish program in the future. It is now our goal to produce clearer guidelines to help participants tackle gambling issues and help their clients. This will also help fight the stigma associated with seeking help, which remains quite a significant barrier to entry for many problem gamblers.”
stated the Chief Commissioning Officer of GambleAware, Anna Hargrave.