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Crypto trading linked with gambling addiction in young men

Image of Bitcoin cryptocurrency
Michael Förtsch | Unsplash

News round-up by Conor D'Andrade

A newly published study from the University of Queensland has found that Cryptocurrency is linked to gambling addiction, depression, and anxiety in young men.

The research seems to suggest that, similar to sports betting apps, crypto trading platforms are popular with young men with gambling addictions.

The average trader spent 2.3 hours a day trading and participating in other gambling forms.

“We found there were strong similarities in the behaviours of cryptocurrency traders and problem gamblers, such as spending excessive amounts of time checking trades, spending more to recoup losses, borrowing money, impulsiveness and novelty-seeking," said Ben Johnson, one of the study researchers Ben Johnson.

The research also showed it was usually young men, who are typically financial risk takers, who were attracted to cryptocurrency trading.

“Cryptocurrency prices regularly fall by more than 50 per cent which puts investors at risk of sudden and dramatic financial losses.

“This could be linked to adverse mental health, with some traders reporting anxiety, depression, psychological distress and loneliness," added Johnson.

Dr Daniel Stjepanovic, a research fellow from UQ’s National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research, said that “Cryptocurrency trading has a large presence on social media which may contribute to its popularity with young people.

“Despite the large risks involved with cryptocurrency trading, there is currently a lack of research around the potential impacts on mental health.

“Our research has highlighted a need for further research around the potential harm the activity can have on a person’s relationships and employment.”

'Wellbeing washing' common among businesses

Newly published research has found that over one third of businesses engage in “wellbeing-washing.”

The study found that 35% of businesses share social media posts, host charity events and sponsor sports activities to raise awareness for mental health, without providing adequate mental health support for their employees.

The study was conducted by Claro Wellbeing and it found that, while the majority of workplaces celebrate mental health awareness weeks or days (71%), a minority are considered “good” or “outstanding” at providing mental health support by their employees (36%).

Common ways businesses showed ‘support’ for mental health publicly were:

  • Sharing social media posts (21%)

  • Raising awareness through an event like a bake sale or coffee morning (15%)

  • Hosting a sports event (13%)

  • Hosting a guest speaker or industry expert to talk about their mental health experiences (11%)

Common ways businesses actually offered mental health support to their employees were:

  • Providing access to a helpline (49%)

  • Providing the opportunity to see a counsellor (44%)

  • Training mental health first aiders (38%)

“While it’s vital to raise awareness of mental health conditions and create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their experiences, companies must provide accessible support to their workforce to make any improvement on wellbeing," said head of Employee Wellbeing at Claro Wellbeing, Stacey Lowman.

“A wellbeing strategy should be implemented by the whole company, which includes human resources working alongside the marketing team and other departments of the business that might want to raise the profile of an awareness day among their workforce.

“This way, awareness is raised while providing support that is genuinely going to make a difference to employees’ welfare.”

1 in 4 carers in Northern Ireland experiencing poor mental health

Newly published statistics show that over 25% of Northern Ireland’s unpaid carers are suffering from poor mental health.

1,600 unpaid carers were surveyed from across NI, of whom over one quarter reported having ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ mental health, and 20% said the same about their physical health.

This is unsurprising when considering that The Carers NI study found that over one third of unpaid carers have not taken a break during the year, and 23% reported that support services could not help adequately.

The cost-of-living crisis is of course the main factor contributing to these carers' hardships, with nearly 70% saying that the rise in bills is impacting their mental and physical health.

In response, Carers NI has called for social support to be a legal right for all unpaid carers, alongside independent carers being appointed as “carer’s champions” to speak up for them to the government and help transform the wider health system.

“Unpaid carers across Northern Ireland are living with shocking levels of poor health and, time and again, they’re being let down by local support services,” said Policy and Public Affairs manager, Craig Harrison.

“We’re seeing so many carers driving themselves into the ground, physically exhausted, in a constant state of anxiety and with little opportunity for a break or hope that the situation will ever improve.

“Add in the devastating health impact of the cost-of-living crisis and our carers are facing a perfect storm.

“We need the Stormont institutions restored so that long-promised reform of the social care system can finally be delivered and our unpaid carers given the support they so desperately need."

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