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The Leeds Mindful Employer Network hosts a number of free events designed to help employers in and around Leeds promote positive mental health at work. 

Here, Leigh Staunton, Co-ordinator for the Leeds Mindful Employer Network, tells us about the latest event. 

Did you know that…?

  • 10,000 people in Leeds may be experiencing serious harm as a result of their gambling
  • 60,000 people in Leeds may be negatively affected by someone else’s gambling
  • Poor mental health and substance use is closely associated with harmful gambling
  • 6 out of 10 adults see gambling advertising or sponsorship at least once a week
  • All teams in the Premier League have an ‘official betting partner’?

I spoke to Health Improvement Specialist, Myrte Elbers, about the prevalence of Gambling Harm in Leeds and this is what she had to say:

Click the image to see a full-size version

“I have worked in Public Health in Leeds for over 17 years. Gambling wasn’t really on our radar until 7 years ago, when Financial Inclusion colleagues contacted me about undertaking research into the scale and awareness of gambling harm. Nobody quite anticipated how limited people’s knowledge was, and how widespread gambling harms were, until we started asking. There is a lot of shame attached to harmful gambling, because we are told “it’s just a bit of fun” and that you’re not in control if you get into trouble. The debate has thankfully moved on and public opinion now shows that they feel advertising and sponsorship by gambling companies has gone too far. The government has pledged to do more to protect people from gambling harm, which is a step in the right direction.”

Asked why members of the Leeds Mindful Employer Network should have Gambling Harm on their radar, Myrte advised:

“Employers can play a big part in supporting employees that are negatively affected by gambling. The first step is to give staff more knowledge and confidence to talk about gambling-related harm in a sensitive and non-judgemental way. Secondly, staff need knowledge of what quality, effective information and support is available. Similar to mental health and substance misuse issues, employers should consider reasonable adjustments, for example enable staff to access specialist support during work time. It is also important for organisations to challenge themselves to have conversations internally about what gambling is viewed as acceptable within the workplace, and what isn’t.”

If you want to find out about gambling harm and its links to mental health, what specialist support is available in Leeds, and how employers can take practical steps to support staff better, please sign up here to this free informative and interactive session, delivered by expert speakers.