Internationally, little is known about the gambling experience of serving members of the Armed Forces and whether or not they might be uniquely vulnerable to gambling-related harm. The purpose of the Wellbeing and Coping in the RAF project is to understand the nature and extent of gambling activity and harm experienced by serving members of the RAF community. The research takes the form of an online survey about the experience of gambling, mental health (depression and anxiety, if any), and alcohol and substance use history (if any) of serving RAF personnel.
This research, which is the first of its kind in the UK, follows the Fund’s 2017 ‘Meeting the Needs’ study which showed 3% of respondents reported problems with gambling. Considering this, the key objectives of the research project are as follows:
- To identify gambling activity and harm among serving RAF personnel.
- To identify relationships between gambling and mental health and substance use.
- To identify whether the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have impacted on gambling and wellbeing.
- To use detailed, follow-up interviews to explore the impact of gambling and wellbeing challenges on RAF personnel, their families, and their roles within the RAF.
It is hoped that the findings from this study will help inform more targeted support to meet the wellbeing needs of the serving RAF community as it relates to gambling activity and the potential harms that may result. The study will help to improve the welfare and wellbeing of the serving RAF community and facilitate increased operational effectiveness of the RAF.
The Wellbeing and Coping in the RAF project is supported by funding from The RAF Benevolent Fund.
If you would like to know more about the study or if you are keen to be involved, then please contact us via one of the options below.
Research Assistant (Dr Amy Pritchard): Email
Follow us on Twitter: @RAFWellbeing
Principal Investigator: Professor Simon Dymond