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  • Julie - My life as an Affected Other Part 3 – Journey to a new future

    Well, 25 years have passed, and in all that time, whether I knew it or not, I was living as an affected other through gambling harm and my husband's mental illness, which brought on his coercive and controlling behaviour. What is my life like now? It's not perfect. I am and will always be an affected other, but with help from the gambling harm community and teaching myself to look after me a lot more, I feel better and know there is a happy future ahead. I still miss my family life and having my husband, a partner, as, at times, it can be lonely dealing with everything by myself. Occasionally it is challenging, but you grow, and your resilience grows. I now have a fantastic job with Gambling Harm UK. It has been such an insightful few years. Sadly, this must change soon, but I've enjoyed every second of being able to give back, bring awareness, and teach others about what I've been through and how it feels to be me. I have hopefully helped both affected others and recovering gamblers to see their lives differently and to have hope for their futures and ultimately know that we can get through this. There is a way out and a light at the end of the tunnel. My work with Gambling Harm UK has been a key part of my journey to a new future. Over the last year my work has mainly been within schools. A project we have worked very hard on has now brought gambling harm awareness and the potential dangers of gambling to around 8000 young people aged 14 to 24, which is so important to me. One thing I strongly believe in is prevention, which is so much better than a cure. So the more young people we can talk to, the more we can bring awareness to, the better it is. The white paper “High Stakes” gambling reform for the digital age, was recently issued by the government. It was so anticipated and long waited that, unfortunately, I think for many of us, it was an anti-climax. Still, the gambling harm community must be proud of the work that everybody has done to lobby parliament and government about the people we have lost and the many living with gambling harm today. These people have gone through so much due to gambling harm that although the white paper did not make the changes we wanted, it brought inroads to where we wish to be. I've always thought we shouldn't rely purely on government and legislation change to make a difference. I think the real change will come from our voices, those with lived experience of what gambling harm means. People will begin to hear what we're saying, understand the real potential impact of this harm and realise that this addiction is a medical disorder which impacts people’s wellbeing both physically and mentally. Hopefully, this will enable those who can gamble safely within their financial limits to carry on doing so. And for those who are at potential risk of harm to be able to seek help faster than they ever did before and then potentially save themselves, their partners, and their families the upset and the sadness that can come from the gambling harm. The other work Gambling Harm UK has done, which I was privileged enough to be part of, was taking our Charity's real patient simulated-based medical education programme to Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine and having a day with year three medical students going on to be GPs. I found this a fantastic and very emotional day. Getting feedback from these 23/24-year-old young people who are already on a long and challenging route towards their goals for their future that our stories were so helpful and would enable them to become better healthcare professionals was so amazing to hear. They all said they did not know how gambling harm could affect people so badly. So, our work with these students will make such a difference in the future to every person who walks into their GP surgeries and talks about the symptoms that they're having. These future new young GPs will now consider when they meet patients “is gambling harm occurring in their lives?”, and if so, they can get them the help they need and the support they're crying out for so much quicker because the stigma of gambling harm stops people from speaking out all too often. I am very proud of my new voluntary position with Healthwatch Essex which has resulted out of the work Gambling Harm UK is doing with them. I'm now an ambassador for their mental health and trauma programmes, which means I get to sit in and talk to others like me, with professionals from the NHS, and various people from county councils. We discuss the issues with the support network for people with mental health issues. We talk about trauma and how it affects people in their daily lives, and what support is needed and required for these people. I will attend events this year where we bring everybody together. Again, awareness is brought to the needs of many people in many different situations. So, I'm trying to say that being an affected other doesn't mean your life has to continue to be negative. If you work and try hard enough, you can turn things around and make it positive. I think that is probably the best thing I've done so far. That's what I've managed to do more than anything in these last 18 months. I felt safe and secure with the people that I've worked with. I've been happy that my children finally have the support and the network they need around them to survive what they have been through, the trauma and the pain they have seen. I am happier that I have learnt to understand myself a bit more. I am kinder to myself now; that is such a significant learning curve I needed to discover. What must you do now to help yourself as an affected other? It is essential to talk and share your feelings and questions. There are many charities and organisations online that you can get in contact with (see below for details). I found that exercise also helped me. A five-mile walk with my music playlist for company was always so helpful in clearing my mind. I am also an avid swimmer, so 50 lengths a few times a week meant an hour where I couldn't think about anything and enjoyed an empty mind. Have you thought about Mindfulness? An opportunity to release yourself from daily life. A few moments of inner peace and relaxation, breathing and allowing your stress or anxiety to leave you. It's a technique that's not easy to master but so well worth it when you can catch that five minutes of peace. Remember, you are so important. As an affected other, I am sure you will have your life consumed with others, their recovery, their worries, and their anxieties. But it would be best if you looked after yourself too. Never undervalue your worth, as you are priceless. Please find below our link to Life Changing Fund Raising opportunity, I would be very grateful if you would be so kind as to donate anything you can afford to help us to continue our work. Other support organisations:

  • My story as an affected other - Part 2

    How have I been since November of 2021, when sadly, my husband took his own life in a gambling-related suicide? To be honest, I thought I'd already reached my lowest point. It was at this point I realised I hadn't. It was such an awful time for the children, me, my family, and my friends. It felt like I was living in a dream, a nightmare, a film. It has taken me months, if not longer, to come to terms with what happened, and when I say come to terms, it doesn't mean I still understand it. It doesn't mean I'm over it. It means I know a little more and understand why we lost him. I was working in a dementia care home on the evening my husband died. I was driving home when I received a call from my son to say his father was shouting and banging on the door. I remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, how scared I felt, and how much panic. I called the police and knew I'd get help but never realised his intentions or plans that night. I would have done anything to save him. I would have done anything to stop what happened, and the guilt I felt for months afterwards was awful. I now understand there was nothing more I could have done. He was at a point and a place where he had lost all control of reality. I'm so sorry that he didn't accept the help offered over the previous months. Again I had to seek help and counselling for myself and my children. At that point, I was working very hard in my 12-hour shift job with the care home and also part-time for Gambling Harm UK. I was fortunate to have the community around me, like-minded people who understood a bit more about gambling harm. Who helped me through my very darkest days. I think working kept me busy and my mind active. It was at night though I didn't sleep. I would lay awake just thinking about what I could have done to change the outcome. What could I do now to help my children? Where was my life going to go? Due to COVID, we had to wait a long time for the coroners inquiry. Hence, it was nearly the year's anniversary of my ex-husband's death. I relived the night again in court, which was a challenging and emotional experience. A year after his death, I began working full-time with Gambling Harm UK. Getting involved with awareness workshops, talking to others in the gambling harm community, and being brave enough to share my story with others. Collaborating with charities like Gambling with Lives has been great, taking us to Parliament to talk to MPs. Trying to make them listen and understand that the regulations' white paper needs to be published. I've even been on the radio now and had a few interviews, and although I get nervous, I'm proud I can bring awareness and talk about gambling harm and how it's affected my life. As I talk about my life and experiences, I hope to help remove the stigma of gambling harm by being honest and open about my emotions. I don't want anybody else to go through what I have been through. I don't want anybody else to feel the sadness, hurt and stress I have felt over the years. I hope by opening up. I can normalise discussing gambling harm and being an affected other, like the normalisation of gambling adverts on television, radio and in sports. We need to ensure that the Government, authorities, and gambling industry start to listen and, most importantly, assist charities to help reduce gambling harm to a much lower level than it is today. I think my mental health is the main thing or the most challenging thing about the last 15 months. How I've managed to keep going some days, I don't know. I've struggled so much that it has been hard to carry on. I am fortunate to have talked to professionals who immensely helped. I feel privileged and grateful to have worked with and known some fantastic colleagues who have helped me. It has been an uphill battle, a daily one, fighting myself, fighting my thoughts, and trying to adjust to what being an affected other means to me today and in the long term. As I've said before, I know things will get better. I see them getting better. What doesn't change is what happened. Always in my mind and heart, but I've got to learn to live with that. Use my positivity and work to ensure that my life and my children's lives move forward in a healthy, happy, positive way. In the next and final part of my story, I will share some more about how working for Gambling Harm UK has enabled me to start to re-build my life and give me some proud moments in what has often being challenging days. I will also share some of things I am doing on my journey to re-build my life. If you or anyone else you know is suffering from gambling harm, then please consider accessing the services that are available. Over recent years services have started to improve and more are available today to help those like me, the affected other. GamFam is a support service I use myself. They offer support through GRA5P – The GamFam Recovery and Support Programme. GRA5P is a structured 5-stage self-help peer support programme, which was designed to support those affected by someone else’s gambling. More recently and out of increasing demand they have also now developed a programme to support those in recovery too. I wish I could have accessed their service when I first needed help back all those years ago. You can find more details about all what they do at Services for affected others are also available through GamAnon and Gamcare at

  • Do gambling games have a particular appeal to children?

    Trigger warning: This article contains images of gambling ads that may be distressing or triggering to some individuals. If you may be adversely affected by viewing gambling ads, please proceed with caution or refrain from reading this article. Gambling-harm has been increasingly recognised as a public health issue globally, with the WHO reporting that the amount of years of healthy life lost from gambling-harm is on a similar level to the healthy life lost from alcohol misuse disorder or major depressive disorder. One key tenant of UK regulations on the gambling industry includes the protection of children. Notably, children are at-risk of suffering severe harms from their own gambling and from another’s gambling such as a parent’s. It is important to highlight that gambling harm in young people is not a rare occurrence, in fact, the Gambling Commission (GC) reported in 2020 that among 11-16 year olds in England and Scotland, 4.6% have experienced gambling harm from their own gambling and 5.5% were harmed from a family members’ gambling in the past year. There is a growing evidence-base that demonstrates how gambling products and industry practices maximise yields by manipulating cognitive biases and by framing gambling as a widely popular low-risk or no-risk source of entertainment; with such messaging engineered and delivered through a £1.5 billion annual advertising spend. Game design and related advertisements are recognised as being likely to contribute to appeal of gambling and therefore gambling consumption in younger people. As such, following the introduction of the Gambling Act in 2007, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) set rules and advice for gambling ads which must adhere to the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) and the law. In 2017, the GC and the ASA were among the signatories of a letter that ordered 450 online gambling operators to remove games such as “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Pirate Princess” as ads for these games were deemed to be likely to appeal particularly to people under the age of 18 and were freely accessible. Five years later, in April 2022, The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) announced new rules set to come into force on 1st October 2022 that replaces “particular appeal” with a “strong appeal test”. Within the guidance, there are themes to help guide operators towards compliant gambling ads so that they are not of particular and more recently strong appeal to children, and these include: Use of licensed characters must be responsible, Cartoon animals, fairy tales and colourful, exaggerated graphics are likely to appeal Names may also appeal particularly to children In our study, a selected sample of fifteen slot-game advertisement images, that were freely available online on platforms belonging to ten of the most popular gambling platforms, were explored in relation to the ASA CAP Code which sought to prevent advertising that is of a particular appeal to children and young people. Our survey results composed of ninety participants who engaged with our charity’s social media and website, show that the majority of participants found each of the images as having a particular appeal to children and young people and so in breach of ASA guidance. In conclusion, whilst the survey was limited in scope and the participants were non-representative of the national population, its results indicate that the gambling games in this survey have a particular appeal to children. Indeed, across eleven of the fifteen ads in our survey, a majority of respondents identified at least two of the three ASA’s themes as being causative towards particular appeal to children and young people. While Gambling Harm UK welcomes the strengthening of ASA guidelines which took place in October of 2022, the guidance based on a ‘strong appeal’ rather than a ‘particular appeal’ does not appear to have yielded a marked reduction in the availability of games selected in our survey. Note: While Big Bad Wolf was no longer available on 888Casino on 25/02/23, it was found on Unibet’s website. Similarly, while Frozen Gems was no longer available on Bet365 on 25/02/23, it was found on Genting Casino’s website. Gambling Harm UK urges the ASA to investigate the games included in our survey. Further, due to the significant nature of gambling harm and the vulnerability of children and young people, the ASA should take a more active role in examining gambling products for breaches of its guidelines. The ASA should also consider whether current guidance is sufficient in protecting against normalisation and trivialisation of risk. Full report:

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Other Pages (42)

  • Mapping betting shops and deprivation in London | Gambling Harm UK

    Mapping London's Betting Shops Below is a map reflecting how betting shops are overwhelmingly concentrated in deprived communities.

  • File Share Gambling Harm UK

    Files & Folders + File Item name Last updated Views Favorites Contributors map 1 item can access May 15, 2023 0 0 All Bets Are Off Item FAQ 1 item private access This folder can only be accessed by specific site members. May 13, 2023 0 0 All Bets Are Off Item

  • Gambling Harm UK | Awareness & Prevention

    We are a leading impact-focused UK charity dedicated to the prevention and reduction of gambling harm. According to the World Health Organization, "The gambling-related burden of harm appears to be of similar magnitude to harm attributed to major depressive disorder and alcohol misuse and dependence. It is substantially higher than harm attributed to drug dependence disorder" Here at Gambling Harm UK, we know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. Since our founding in 2020, we have been determined to make as much impact as possible. The core of our efforts is to bring out the ideas and passion of people with lived experience to a range of activities that reduce and prevent gambling harm. Through all of our endeavours, we ensure that we display the conviction that matches the need. Learn More Our Values We are authentic We know first-hand that gambling harm can be prevented and that can be life-changing and potentially life-saving for individuals and their loved ones. ​ We are impact-driven We believe in our determined resolve to tackle the injustices surrounding gambling harm, hence we specialise in addressing disproportionately affected and neglected issues. ​ We are lived experience We believe that individuals with lived experience of gambling harm are the experts and that they should be provided with meaningful opportunities to have a positive impact. ​ We are inclusive We believe in making sure our team represents the diverse needs of the populations we aim to serve. ​ We are collaborators We believe in sharing what we know so that our work can be maximally impactful and reach people affected by gambling harm everywhere. Our Values Our Impact 50,000+ 🎥 'Do It For Her' has reached over 50, 000 views since it's release. The film demonstrates risk factors towards gambling harm, industry tactics, manifestations and progression of gambling harm across six domains, and the potential of harm recovery. ​ 1.3M+ ⚕️ Gambling Harm UK has worked with some of the largest Medical Education Platforms including Geeky Medics, Osmosis, and Imperial College London, raising awareness of gambling harm to platforms with over 1 million health care professional clicks. ​ 50+ 📰 Gambling Harm UK have actively raised awareness of gambling harm with over 50 different media publications spanning from BBC Breakfast, The Sunday Times, WIRED Magazine, BBC Hooked, and many more... ​ ​ 20+ 🔬 Gambling Harm UK have publically published over twenty hard-hitting research reports on gambling-harm. In the past year, our work has focussed on synthesising gambling harm issues, with focus towards understanding the significance of gambling harm. 7000+ 🧒 Gambling Harm UK are proud to have raised awareness on gambling and gaming harm to over 7000 young people through our face to face workshops. We are committed to continuing our innovative evidence-based work and making a positive impact in the lives of future generations. Do It For Her A short film written by: Mohammedally Shushtari, directed by: Shehroze Khan and starring: Fady Elsayed. ​ In 2021, Gambling Harm UK began working with Fully Focussed and Million Youth Media on a short film to help raise awareness and understanding of the disproportionate gambling harm experienced by young people from minority backgrounds. Read More Watch now Do It For Her Featured Posts Julie - My life as an Affected Other Part 3 – Journey to a new future Well, 25 years have passed, and in all that time, whether I knew it or not, I was living as an affected other through gambling harm and... My story as an affected other - Part 2 How have I been since November of 2021, when sadly, my husband took his own life in a gambling-related suicide? To be honest, I thought... My story as an affected other - Julie I know that my story as an affected other is one of the more severe ones, but it is a true story and an example of how gambling... "Life-changing Opportunity" Appeal Are you able to help us make a potentially life-changing or even life-saving impact on someone else’s life? At Gambling Harm UK, we are... Addressing gambling harm in the workplace– a business priority or not? Organisations are continually faced with numerous challenges and issues and must decide where they prioritise their resources to be... 1/4 Lived Experiences of Gambling Harm Play Video Play Video 02:01 The CAGE of Addiction One way of understanding addiction is through CAGE as both an acronym for signs of addiction (Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, and Eye-Opener) and a metaphor for how addiction traps the individual and often their loved ones into addiction cycles. An individual with an addiction may: want to Cut down, feel Annoyed when other criticise them about the addictive behaviour, feel bad or Guilty about the addictive behaviour, engage in the addictive behaviour first thing in the morning to steady their nerves or to feel 'normal' (Eye-opener) Play Video Play Video 00:56 Gambling Harm - Who Can It Affect? 1 in 10 adults in the past year have been significantly affected by gambling harm. Research has consistently demonstrated that individuals that are: young, male, and that belong to ethnic minority backgrounds, are disproportionately susceptible to gambling disorder. Gambling disorder (the most severe level of gambling harm from an individual's own gambling) is between 3 to 5 times more prevalent amongst ethnic minority groups relative to white ethnic groups. Moreover, gambling harm is likely to have a worse impact on those from a minority ethnic background, and this is in part due to differences in cultural attitudes, stigma, and health awareness. Gambling disorder is also most prevalent amongst 16-24 year olds than in any other age group. In the last gold-standard prevalence survey conducted in 2010, the prevalence of gambling disorder according to PGSI among 16-24 year olds was at 2.0% (males: 2.7%, females 1.2%), whereas the prevalence by PGSI of the whole population was measured at 1.0% (males: 1.7%, females 0.3%). Play Video Play Video 01:11 Gambling Harm - Motivations to Gamble According to the BGPS 2010, motivations for gambling can be grouped into categories of: Social - this includes gambling either to be sociable or because it’s something that one does with friends and family Money - this includes gambling to make money or gambling for the chance of winning big money Enhancement - this includes gambling for the challenge, to compete against others, for a sense of achievement and for the excitement. Recreation - this includes motives related to filling time, hobbies and past times, fun and relaxation. Coping - this includes gambling to relieve tension or impress others. Play Video Play Video 01:05 Gambling Harm - Escalation of Harms Gambling harm can be particularly devastating as it can have a profound impact across several domains including health, work or study, and relationships. Moreover, these impacts can be lifelong or even intergenerational. It's important to remember that anyone can be affected by gambling harm. An individual does not need to have a gambling disorder to suffer gambling harm. In fact, 1 in 10 adults in the past year are expected to suffer gambling harm. According to the World Health Organisation: "The gambling-related burden of harm appears to be of similar magnitude to harm attributed to major depressive disorder and alcohol misuse and dependence. It is substantially higher than harm attributed to drug dependence disorder" Play Video Play Video 01:14 Gambling Harm - Finding Recovery If you are suffering from gambling harm, support and treatment is available. "Understanding the role gambling plays in your life can be the first step in making changes to reduce the harm it causes. It is unlikely that there will be a single answer, and you may need a combination of strategies to make lasting changes. You are more likely to be successful if you have support from others. For free information, advice and support you can contact gamcare advisors on 0808 80 20 133 or visit to find out about treatment and support available in your area." Additionally, the NHS Live Well website contains advice as well as signposting to other free treatment and support options. Lastly, feel free to check out 'The All Bets Are Off Podcast', which has over 50 hours of gambling addiction recovery content covering a wide range of discussion points, including everything from recovery stories and signposting. Voice of Lived Experience Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

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