The Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust is spearheading a new alliance of experts aimed at delivering specialist training on gambling, gaming, and digital behavioural addictions to healthcare professionals, such as GPs.
The ‘Mindful Resilience’ programme is the result of a collaboration between the education charity, Bournemouth University, the Responsible Gambling Council, and Betknowmore UK.
Lee Willows, YGAM CEO and founder, believes that the programme is a natural progression of the prevention work YGAM have done so far: “Gambling-related harm is a public health issue so this initiative will give healthcare practitioners the expert knowledge, support and resources they need.
“In bringing together these highly respected organisations, we can combine our resources and insight to provide an incredibly important training programme. I’m confident this new programme will complement YGAM’s existing prevention programmes and will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of individuals who seek help”.
Set to be signposted to the National Treatment Network and NHS for patients needing support, the move follows a 2019 UKGC report into gambling-related suicide which the group says “highlighted the need for greater awareness among GPs and other primary care and frontline service providers”.
The aim of the initiative is to enable health care professionals in primary care networks to have access to evidence-led, accredited quality training on the health risks associated with gambling/gaming-harm, digital addiction and unhealthy online behaviours.
Frankie Graham, CEO and founder of Betknowmore, commented: “Betknowmore UK has pioneered working closely with local communities, and in doing so, we understand the role that health and community services can play in addressing gambling-related harm.
“It is quite right that healthcare professionals have enhanced understanding and recognition of gambling harms, and the tools to engage positively and authentically with individuals who may present with gambling issues.”
The Mindful Resilience programme will be delivered collaboratively, with Bournemouth University taking the lead for training content creation; RGC spearheading evaluation; and Betknowmore UK & YGAM delivering practitioner recruitment and training.
Dr Sarah Hodge from Bournemouth University, who is working on the programme, added: “We are thrilled to be working with YGAM on this project. In this digital age young people can be vulnerable to digital related harms, such as through activities related to their gaming and gambling.
“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.”