News

Glasgow brings experts by experience on board to tackle gambling harms

Section: Health and Social Care IntegrationThe ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 22nd July 2020

Experts by experience are being asked to join Glasgow City Council, NHS, local charities and leading researchers to tackle gambling harms

Public Health Scotland and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) will host a virtual event on Thursday 6th August at 6.30pm to kick start the conversation about how people affected by gambling, their families and friends, can use their experience to make a difference.

Will Griffiths, Programme Manager at the ALLIANCE said

“It is cruicial that people with lived experience are involved in shaping work to reduce gambling harms across Glasgow. The person centred approach proposed by the Glasgow Gambling Harms Group is timely and there is scope for strong engagement with people with lived experience, third sector, public health colleagues and other statutory partners to reduce the harm gambling causes across the city. This event will be a vital starting point to ensure that people with lived experience of gambling harms will be at the heart of co-producing the implementation of the work in Glasgow.”

The event will be the first of many ways for local people to get involved in a 3-year project funded by the UK Gambling Commission as part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms in Scotland. Led by Public Health Scotland, the project will bring together experts by experience with experts in practice, policy and research to understand how people and communities experience harm through gambling and decide on the collective actions that should be taken in Glasgow to prevent these. The local approach will be the first of its kind in Scotland. The lessons learned from what works in Glasgow will shape future work across Scotland and the UK.

Phil Mackie, Public Health Consultant, Public Health Scotland said

“Gambling is a public health issue. People can experience a wide range of harms linked to gambling including: money problems; relationship breakdown; stress and anxiety; and in some extreme circumstances, suicide. For every person that experiences problems with gambling, on average six other people in their lives will be negatively affected. Whilst anyone can be affected at any time, we know that some people and communities are more vulnerable to gambling harm than others.

 “This situation has, in all likelihood, been exacerbated by the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. As we move from managing the pandemic toward renewal and recovery, taking action now to tackle gambling harms will help make Glasgow a better, fairer place to live, work and play. To do this effectively, we need to work in partnership to understand the impacts of gambling and the evidence around the steps we can take to protect people and communities.”

Councillor Christie, Convenor of Glasgow City Council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community & Citizen Engagement (WECCE) Policy Development Committee said

“As Scotland’s largest city Glasgow must tackle gambling harms head on. There has been a massive rise in recent years in online gambling, gambling advertising and marketing, coupled with a growing conflation between gaming and gambling and the ‘gamblification’ of sports. We need to understand the impact of these changes on vulnerable people, especially young people, and their future potential. The actions we take now can help protect our health and wellbeing and bring us closer to a fairer society where everyone has an equal chance to flourish. It is vital that the real voices of people who’ve experienced gambling harms are heard.”

If you have experienced harm because of your own gambling or the gambling of a family member or friend and would like to take part in the event, please email:

gamblingharm@alliance-scotland.org.uk 

Or you can find out more about the event ‘reducing gambling harm in Glasgow – a community conversation‘ on our website

There are lots of ways for people of different ages, backgrounds, experience and expertise to get involved. For more information about what we are planning in Glasgow and the ways you can get involved, please email phs.scotphn@nhs.net

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