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Gambling Harms Champions


Safer Gambling week 19th to the 25th of November 2020

Some people may argue, there is no safer gambling, for some people even that innocent win on a free raffle could be the beginning of slipping back into habits which could spiral out of control. 

For other people, they may argue changes in how the industry markets and attracts its customers could be improved so fewer people find themselves in a situation which can lead to despair even suicide. Some people may argue there is something intrinsically wrong in our society where people feel the need to escape into gambling, drugs, alcohol, overeating, and many other unhelpful coping strategies when it all feels too much. 

This wee piece respects all points of view and doesn't seek to put itself forward as an expert in any. As a mental/emotional wellbeing service, we recognise the unhelpful coping strategies which life can sometimes drive people to and that it's not enough just for people to change their behaviour, we need to understand more about the conditions which lead to that behaviour in the first place. Blaming an individual is not only unfair, but it also means we don't look at where the real changes need to happen.

In an earlier piece, we spoke about Gambling harms and the need to create safer families, communities, cities Since then we have met a lot of inspiring individuals and groups all seeking to help build that safer place where fewer people are affected by Gambling harms.

We have started including in each 'Whit's Happening' Magazine, a feature on work to address Gambling harms Issue 9 issue 10 shares some of this which may be of interest.

What is becoming clearer the more people we speak to, is there are some key themes emerging, this list is not exhaustive:

  • Improved awareness and communication around gambling harms
  • A new service landscape for addressing gambling harms are holistic and there is clarity on how to access them for individuals and families affected
  • Training and education including for front line services and health professionals such as GP's as well as the wider public
  • Cultural changes
  • Attitudinal changes. Work is based around seeking solutions to the wider determinants of gambling harms not seeking to blame individuals. Stigma is reduced within families and communities as the work of gambling harms champions makes it easier to talk about and seek help for challenges associated with gambling
  • Legislative changes. People have a greater understanding and ability to influence licencing laws. There is work done to look at advertising and accessibility of equipment which can lead to gambling harms is better monitored and standards to reduce harm in place
  • Population-based education programmes are offered to promote healthy coping strategies to life challenges
  • A public health and trauma-informed approach is taken towards addressing gambling harms.

We are a very pragmatic service, so in seeing what the issues are, want to know what can we do, working with others to help bring about the changes we want to see. During this week we have the following things planned with partners including the Alliance, Beatthefix, Recover Me and more:

Come Chat with me Zoom session

(invite below)

Follow up from the Alliance 2020 event on Gambling Harms 8th Sept 2020

This event will take place on 23rd November 10 00 -11 30 am and will be conducted over Zoom.

The session will be a chance to:

Reflect back does the report from Alliance 2020 accurately reflect our discussion, did we miss anything?

  • Share details of an exciting new Pilot with the Recover Me app
  • Learn what priority areas are emerging to reduce gambling harms from our wider conversations
  • Explore priority actions to bring about this vision for safer gambling

Just as with suicide prevention, we all have it in us to be Gambling Harms champions, that can be from looking at ensuring staff paid and unpaid are gambling harms aware, to having a wee chat with a friend you worry is maybe gambling too much with the online bingo. We don't need to do it all alone, there are services and supports as well as peer supports. 

Working together, understanding each other, planning change together gets us further though than we can alone. If you can attend even one of the sessions above that would be super.

Monday 16th November is also the start of Coproduction week in Scotland, an excellent time to look at working together to co-produce a plan which helps saves misery for many individuals and families as a result of Gambling Harms

Together we can be the change

Finding meaningfulness in the everyday
Switching what we focus on and lighting the candle...

Useful/Emergency Contacts

  • Silverline 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Childeline 0800 1111
  • ParentLine 08000 28 22 33
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87
  • NHS 111
  • Gamblers anonymous 0370 050 8881
  • Narcotics anonymous 0300 999 1212
  • Alcoholics anonymous 0800 9177 6506
  • CALM 0800 58 58 58
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