The RSPH or the Royal Society for Public Health has more than 6000 members all around the world and is one of the oldest public health body in the world.
Along with GambleAware, RSPH has created a new organization called The Gambling Health Alliance (GHA). The main aim of the organization is to raise public awareness of the negative effects of gambling. The organization is also urging UK lawmakers to treat gambling as another form of major public health issue.
The CEO of GambleAware, Marc Etches said, “Gambling is increasingly being considered as a significant public health issue, and this new alliance provides an opportunity for a wide range of organizations to act together to address it in a coordinated and more effective manner.”
The primary objective of the new alliance is to gather individuals and organizations who have a shared interest in tackling the damage caused by gambling to people’s health and wellbeing. They will undertake surveys and highlight studies that can be used to develop possible actions. Moreover, they will take part in campaigns to increase awareness related to gambling addiction. The alliance specifically stated that they will act as a sign-posting organization and will bring together resources in the UK to create a network.
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The chief executive of RSPH, Shirley Cramer said, “The GHA will provide a forum where we can foster collaboration and share good practice amongst all relevant stakeholders to increase our understanding of the social, economic and cultural factors that contribute to gambling harms and the inequalities in health caused by this.”
She also stated that the new organization will allow long term campaigners to focus on the impact of gambling on local communities and how it trickles down to other serious issues such as debts (which is also a result of a gambling addiction). Ms Cramer is hopeful that the new alliance will leave a positive impact on the people and increase gambling risk awareness in the UK steadily.
The chair of the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, Carolyn Harris MP openly welcomed the formation of the GHA or The Gambling Health Alliance. She stated that the GHA will act as an important platform for other organizations to join forces in tackling the problems related to gambling. She also stated that she is looking forward to the public health community to work closely with the GHA in placing the gambling-related problems with other public health challenges.
Although it is good to see that gambling has been identified as a public health issue, more needs to be done to evaluate the problems that arise from gambling. The new alliance, GHA will allow organizations to act together to address gambling addiction in a proper way.