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Issued:17/10/17

A large-scale study to examine the effects of gambling problems on families is calling for respondents from across the UK.

The research, being carried out by Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of charity GambleAware, will explore the impact of problem gambling on family members, including how it affects their psychological and physical health, what they do to cope, and how family members find out about and access support services.

The researchers for Families Living with Problem Gambling are calling for people with experience of a family member who had or has recovered from gambling problems to take part in the research. This is to understand which support services are urgently needed, and provide insights in to experiences of family members impacted by problem gambling.

The most recent comprehensive analysis of gambling behaviour estimated there were approximately 430,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain.

Recent studies show that the effects of problem gambling are considerable, extending beyond the individual gambler and impacting between four and 11 other people, including family members, friends and other loved ones. This means that the number of family members affected in the UK is thought to be in excess of one million.

Clare Wyllie, Director of Research and Evaluation for GambleAware, said: "This research is vital to understand a group of people in the UK who have little visibility but are in very real need of support. 

"We encourage people to take part in the study as this will help us understand their needs better, what support they currently access and how else they cope. This means we can improve how we tailor services we currently offer for family members, whilst also lobbying for improved support from other services, based on the views and experience of those affected." 

The research, which is expected to be published in early 2018, will be led by Dr James Banks from Sheffield Hallam University's Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice.

Dr Banks said: "This study will give us - for the very first time - a comprehensive response from the community of families who are affected by problem gambling and allow for evidence-based policy decisions.

"The results of the survey will help identify which services are urgently needed for families of people recovering from gambling problems, whilst also giving a voice to a largely unknown and unheard population."
 

Click here to access the Families Living with Problem Gambling survey.
 

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email m.webb@shu.ac.uk.