EPIC Restart Foundation and Leeds Beckett University Help Gambling Victims

The EPIC Restart Foundation, a UK charity aimed at helping victims of gambling addiction, announced its partnership with Leeds Beckett University. Carnegie Great Outdoors, a Leeds Beckett-based outdoor education provider, will supply coaches to help develop programs and courses for the foundation.

Mental Health Specialists Collaborate to Aid Victims of Gambling Addiction

The first planned joint initiative between the two parties was “+1% – Live the life you want,” a weekend course that began in May at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre. The event was a resounding success and remained fully booked, with additional programs continuing throughout June and July. 

Coaches from Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie Great Outdoors partnered with experienced mentors from EPIC Restart to help victims of gambling harm rebuild their lives by fostering self-confidence, resilience, and self-belief. Alison Stanton, Business Support Manager at Carnegie Great Outdoors, stated that the experienced Carnegie coaches would help deliver programs centered around “ sustainable recovery and building resilience,” which would form the foundation for future positive recovery.

One of the inspirations for the partnership was the continued work of Leeds Beckett in helping wounded, injured, and sick members of the armed forces. The university’s decade-long program has achieved a notable and sustained positive change in the mental health of participants.

A 2021 study on the effects of Leeds Beckett’s recovery course on wounded, injured, and sick UK military personnel recorded that 74% of participants experienced an improvement in mental well-being. The partnership with EPIC Restart will allow these competencies to benefit gambling victims.

Problem Gambling Is a Growing Issue for the City of Leeds

Leeds Beckett University has previously released research on the impact of gambling on a local level. A 2017 report for the Leeds City Council identified 10,000 residents as potential “problem gamblers” and an additional 30,000 individuals who could be “at risk of harm” from gambling.

Leeds has a population of just over half a million, so these rates are several times higher than the national average of less than one percent. The study identified young people, low-income individuals, and people suffering from mental health issues as more susceptible to problem gambling. The City Council recommended improved specialist support to help those affected.

“There is fantastic treatment out there for people who are trying to stop gambling,” stated Sharon Parr, CEO of EPIC Restart Foundation. She then noted that the most significant problem for gambling victims was the lack of long-term support. “They often don’t know where to turn,” Parr added and noted that people recovering from gambling harm can feel isolated and suffer from low confidence and damaged personal relationships. Unemployment and large debts were other obstacles to successful recovery.

Parr expressed hope that the new collaborative initiative would help people put their lives back together and move on after their addiction.

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