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Words can hurt: A language guide for gambling harms

Commercial determinants of health · Gambling · Improving Public Health Practice | March 13, 2024

This ‘Words can hurt’ language guide for gambling harms is a resource created by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, in collaboration with ADPH Yorkshire and the Humber and ADPH North East as part of their work to prevent and reduce gambling harms and work independently from the gambling industry. This guide was created to combat the ‘individual responsibility’ narrative that is often used by the gambling industry, which is stigmatising for those who may be seeking help and advice for gambling harms.

This language guide can be used as a tool to double check your language choices on publications, reports, websites and strategies (as examples) to ensure language is not stigmatising and frames harm from a population health approach. This guide may also be useful for those having conversations with individuals experiencing gambling harms, ensuring they are conducted using respectful and sensitive language.

This guide is intended for public health and communication colleagues, but you are welcome to share it further if you feel this would help organisations in your wider network.

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