We’re supporting Stigma, a national public health campaign to reduce the stigma around gambling harms.

The nationwide initiative, by charity GambleAware, revealed that 75% of people who had experienced gambling problems felt they couldn’t open up to loved ones, with stigma being the most significant barrier preventing people from opening up.

People affected by gambling harm can experience a wide range of problems, including mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, breakdown of relationships, and financial struggles – as highlighted by our research, which found that over 30% of our clients felt that gambling had a negative impact on their mental health.

With data across the industry highlighting the role stigma plays, GambleAware commissioned further research into attitudes and perceptions surrounding gambling harms.

Results showed over three in five (62%) agree people negatively judge those experiencing gambling harms, whilst more than half (56%) agree that it is important to challenge the stigma around gambling harms.

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “Gambling harms are hidden and complex in nature, making it incredibly hard to spot from the outside when someone may need help.

“It is therefore critical that when accessing financial services, especially when due to the impact of gambling harms, people feel they can talk openly about the issues they may be experiencing and are made aware of the wide range of support services available.

“We are delighted to be partnering with PayPlan as part of this campaign and look forward to working together to encourage people to open up about gambling harms and feeling safe to do so.”

Emma Gibbons, our Vulnerability Lead, said: “It’s important that we increase conversations within society around gambling harm and make sure that people have a better perception of those experiencing gamble-related debt.

“Through our relationship with GamCare, we’ve been able to develop appropriate pathways into debt advice and regularly carry out training to the wider financial services sector to help them ensure they’re up to date with the latest information and advice.”

Raminta Diliso, Financial Harm Manager at GamCare, part of the National Gambling Support Network, said: “Harmful gambling and debt can often go hand-in-hand, and our latest data shows that 76% of people seeking support from GamCare are experiencing financial difficulties. We continue our collaborative work with PayPlan, which includes staff training and establishing referral pathways between both organisations.

“As part of this work, we have also reviewed all client communications to ensure that the language used is non-judgemental, which we hope will help shift the dial on the stigma surrounding gambling and debt. Our Money Guidance Service offers one-to-one budgeting and financial support for people who experience gambling harms. To find out about getting referred, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133.”

If you’re worried about how gambling makes you or someone else feel, GambleAware can help. Their short quiz takes a few minutes to complete and will start to give you an insight into how gambling might be affecting you, or someone you care about. Once complete, you will be provided with tailored support should you want it.

If gambling has impacted your finances and you find yourself in debt, get in touch with us and take steps towards becoming debt-free. Contact us on 0800 316 1833 to get started or visit www.payplan.com.