Gambling problems and help-seeking in serving United Kingdom military personnel: A qualitative study

Hannah Champion, Amy Pritchard, Glen Dighton, Simon Dymond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In military personnel are vulnerable to gambling problems, yet many are reluctant to seek help. The aim of the current study was to explore the lived experience of problem gambling and help-seeking among serving members of the United Kingdom Armed Forces. Methods: Seventeen individuals from a larger, cross-sectional survey of gambling and wellbeing in the Royal Air Force (RAF) completed semi-structured interviews. Interview questions focused on personal experiences, the context of the RAF and its influence, knowledge and experiences of treatment and support services, and the impact of COVID-19. Results: Reflexive thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) harmful and protective occupational factors; (2) socio-cultural and personal influences; (3) organizational attitudes toward mental health and help-seeking, and (4) current support pathways and provision. Discussion: Findings also indicated that gambling and alcohol use are common within the RAF, and that personnel are actively coping with mental health challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1003457
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Champion, Pritchard, Dighton and Dymond.

Other keywords

  • alcohol
  • COVID-19
  • gambling
  • help-seeking
  • interviews
  • mental health
  • serving personnel


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