GamCare to launch chatroom for women problem gamblers

GamCare is expanding upon its problem gambling support resources with the launch of a chat room for female problem gamblers.

GamCare, the UK’s leading provider for problem gambling support, announced it will host an online group chatroom session for women, or those who identify as female, who are affected by gambling-related harms.

GamCare hosts daily chatroom sessions for people who suffer from gambling-related problems on its website.

GamCare’s chatroom for women

According to the announcement, the chatroom for women will be launched on Saturday 12 September, between 7 pm and 8 pm. This chatroom forms part of GamCare’s daily support sessions and will allow users to connect with peers and share experiences with one another.

GamCare decided to launch the new chatroom after a report commissioned by GambleAware and the NHS highlighted that women experiencing gambling harm felt more anxious and stigma towards accessing treatment and help when it comes to gambling addiction.

GamCare said it would continue to work with public and third sector organisations to establish a national framework to help spread awareness of gambling harms and the impacts it has on women.

In a statement, GamCare said: “Women can be disproportionately negatively impacted by gambling-related harms, which include financial, relationship and mental health issues. GamCare is running this session for any women who are affected by gambling, whether they are the gambler, or a family member or friend.”

GamCare will continue to develop its “Women’s Programme” to help those who are impacted by gambling harms to secure the necessary treatments.

Women and problem gambling in the UK

In May, GambleAware called for authorities to increase and expand how much help is available to problem gamblers in the UK after research found that almost half of the players suffering from gambling-related problems are choosing not to access treatment or support services.

According to the report, 12,161 adults were surveyed between 24 September and 13 October 2019. Researchers used the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) to determine if someone was a law, moderate or high-risk gambler.

Researchers found that the perceived stigma or shame of gambling played a significant role with 27% of problem gamblers giving this as a reason for not seeking support or treatment. Other problem gamblers surveyed said that they did not seek help due to personal reasons such as poor health, a lack of awareness of problem gambling and practical reasons such as cost and time constraints.

The report also found that female gamblers were three times more likely than men to refer to practical reasons for not accessing support services. Young adults and individuals from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups were less likely to gamble but more likely to be classed as a problem gambler.

Later on, in July, GambleAware published a study on women and gambling in Great Britain showing that female gamblers from BAME backgrounds are among those classed as “high risk.”

According to the findings published by GambleAware, the survey discovered that 35% of female gamblers who experience high levels of harm and have a PGSI score of 8+ came from a BAME background, compared with 12% of the overall female population.

This study also explored the treatment and support available to female gamblers and found that a higher proportion of women than men cited stigma as a reason for not receiving gambling treatments.

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