Each year at least 30% of callers to the National Gambling Helpline identify as female, half of whom call about their own gambling and half about someone else’s. One fifth of all clients in GamCare’s treatment services are women.
Women can be disproportionately affected by gambling-related harms, experiencing financial, relationship and mental health issues. Evidence also suggests that for women, emotional distress, trauma, domestic abuse or other pressures can make them vulnerable to developing gambling problems. These problems can cause a sense of isolation and have far reaching impacts on their families, communities and personal lives; however, they are often hidden from support services.
From 2019 – 2021, GamCare’s Women’s Programme has been pioneering in the area of women and gambling-related harms; a group at risk of experiencing disproportionate gambling-related harm, who are under-represented within the treatment and support population.
We have been successful in raising their voices and drawing out important learning to ensure more can be done to help those harmed by gambling, and to bring their experiences into the wider debate on gambling harm. To continue this crucial work, our Women’s Programme will receive a further two year’s funding approved by the Gambling Commission to contribute to delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
GamCare is engaging with a network of organisations who support women, raising awareness of how gambling is linked with a range of issues affecting women and girls and helping to better identify women in need.
In the first two years of delivering this programme, GamCare focused on barriers to women accessing help and in doing so worked with 800 organisations and more than 8,000 professionals to deliver our CPD accredited training – increasing professionals’ confidence to talk to women about gambling harms and support those affected.
Over the next two years we aim to use our learning to increase the skills and experience of thousands of intermediaries who can go on to better identify women who need support for gambling related harms.
The programme will:
- engage with diverse communities to amplify the voices of women with lived experience
- strengthen referral pathways into support and treatment services
- develop tailored support and treatment services for women identified as underserved by current services
All insights from our work will be shared, contributing to evidence across sectors that informs future policy, research and action to reduce gambling harms experienced by women.