Sheffield campaigners fighting for improved awareness of gambling addiction as a health problem have teamed up with the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group.
Adam Bradford, of Waterthorpe, launched a campaign to make people more aware of the dangers of gambling after his father, David, aged 58, was jailed for stealing more than £50,000 from his employer to fund his secret addiction.
On his release from prison, David teamed up with 23-year-old Adam to push for gambling reforms to stop any other families going through the same difficulties as them.
Now, NHS Sheffield CCG has worked with the pair to implement measures which aim to raise awareness of gamling addiction as a health problem.
The measures include issuing hundreds of leaflets to every doctors’ surgery in the city and looking at how to raise health professionals’ awareness of the signs of gambling addiction, possibly via learning events, online resources and e-learning modules.
Dr Steve Thomas, Sheffield GP and NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Director lead for Mental Health, said: “Problem gambling definitely has negative health consequences for some people – including low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, substance misuse and depression.
“It could probably be argued that this has been an addiction that has somewhat passed under the radar for many years, but with an increase in online gambling is increasingly coming to the fore.”
Adam welcomed the CCG’s involvement and added: “I am very pleased that we have been able to work with the NHS in this way to build a pioneering support structure and awareness programme for gambling addiction in our city.”