GamCare focuses on underage gamblers in new mental health marketing campaign

GamCare has unveiled a new ad campaign aimed at an alleged increase in gambling-related harm among underage gamblers.

Known as BigDeal, the campaign includes the launch of a dedicated online center for young people to find information, advice and support if they are concerned about themselves or a loved one's gambling behavior.

The website also offers support for parents and training for those who work with youth, such as teachers, youth workers and social workers.

In addition, the charity created an educational video featuring boxer and YouTube star Viddal Riley, along with neuroscientist Dr. Jack Lewis, to highlight the impact of gambling on young people's brain development.

The video uses an MRI scanner and aims to illustrate the parts of the brain that are at risk from gaming-related harm.

In the video, Riley and Lewis discuss how the reward pathway, located in one of the oldest central parts of the human brain, is responsible for making all human decisions.

They look at how regular gambling causes changes in their structure to encourage more frequent betting and higher stakes despite big losses.

The video will go live on social media, including YouTube.

According to the latest data released by the charity, 70% of calls received from youth to the National Gambling Helpline were related to cases of gambling-related harm.

The helpline charity reported that seven out of every 10 out of 353 young people who called did so about their own gambling-related harm issues, while 20% young people called because of penis concerns. family or friend.

Another 8.5% of calls received were from young people at risk from gambling.

According to GamCare support data, including a helpline, 77% young people who accessed support services did so after gambling online.

GamCare user data came from 70,557 users and was collected over a three-year period from January 2018 to January 2021.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for young people, many of whom have used the Internet and social media not only to connect with friends but also as a form of escapism,” said Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare.

“This makes it harder for parents to determine when their child may be exhibiting unhealthy behaviors, as symptoms such as withdrawal can often be confused with other problems and challenges teens face during this difficult period of their lives.

“That’s why we hope BigDeal becomes a resource that speaks directly to young people about the main problems associated with gambling, the harms they can face, and how they can get more support through our hotline.” Hemmings added.