The Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has launched a training programme for healthcare professionals and a hub for students.
UK.- The problem gambling charity the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has launched a training programme on gambling addictions for healthcare professionals, including general practitioners.
The Mindful Resilience Programme has been developed with Bournemouth University, the Responsible Gambling Council, and Betknowmore UK to give healthcare professionals “evidence-led, accredited, quality training” on health risks associated with gambling-related harm.
It will begin in London with the aim of expanding to the West Midlands in 2021 and nationwide in 2022.
The impetus behind the programme was a report by the Gambling Commission last year that highlighted a need for greater awareness of gambling-related harm among GPs and other primary care providers.
YGAM founder and chief executive, Lee Willows, said: “Gambling-related harm is a public health issue so this initiative will give healthcare practitioners the expert knowledge, support and resources they need.”
Dr Sarah Hodge, a lecturer in psychology at Bournemouth University, said: “This is a really exciting project to support the awareness and the communication of these potential harms facing young people to practitioners through co-creating workshop materials as well as developing the concept of digital resilience.”
The programme will be evaluated by the Canada-based Responsible Gaming Council (RGC).
RGC senior researcher, Dr. Sasha Stark, said: “Limited information is available to primary care professionals on gambling-related harms and we believe this initiative will both support practitioners in their work and increase access to support for a large number of patients experiencing harm.”
YGAM is also about to launch a new online student hub to raise awareness of gaming and gambling-related harm among young people.
The platform will include interactive components and lived experience case studies to highlight issues of gambling and gaming addiction on university campuses.
Pete Woodward, head of delivery for university and student engagement, said: “Student life has changed dramatically this year and we knew YGAM had to respond accordingly.
“Our student hub is the first of its kind: a resource created for and with students, ensuring they get the information and education to make informed choices.
“We will be gathering insights from this online portal and sharing what we find with our partners at other universities and students’ unions. Together, we can work towards a higher education environment free from gaming and gambling-related harm.”
YGAM published research last year showing that 264,000 UK students were at some risk of gambling-related harm while around 88,000 were already problem gamblers.
YGAM and Betknowmore UK have also recently launched training to help people working in the gaming industry identify signs of problem gambling.