YGAM spearheads GP problem gambling training initiative

The Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has confirmed that it will lead a new initiative to ‘deliver specialist training on gambling, gaming, and digital behavioural addictions to healthcare professionals’.

The ‘Mindful Resilience’ programme is the result of a collaboration between YGAM, Bournemouth University, the Responsible Gambling Council, and Betknowmore UK.

YGAM will take responsibility of leading the collaboration, as well as developing the strategic relevance of the training programme. Meanwhile, Bournemouth University will lead the programme’s content creation, supported by the RGC as taking ownership of evaluations.

Betknowmore UK will complete the collaborative framework, working with YGAM to deliver practitioner recruitment and training.

The programme will enable health care professionals in primary care networks to have access to evidence-led, accredited training on the health risks associated with gambling-related harm, digital addiction and problematic online behaviours.

YGAM CEO and Founder Lee Willows highlighted the ‘hugely positive impact’ that the new initiative will have: “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”.

In addition, the programme will promote signposting to the National Treatment Network & NHS for patients needing support.

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.”

The programme will initially be rolled out in London, before being expanded to the West Midlands in 2021 – with plans for a potential national launch in 2022.

Betknowmore CEO and Founder Frankie Graham said: “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.”

Dr Sasha Stark, a Senior Researcher with the RGC, spoke about the organisation’s role in the training programme behind Mindful Resilience. She concluded: “RGC will lead the evaluation of the Mindful Resilience training programme, providing an independent assessment of the programme’s delivery and impact among participating health care professionals.

“We look forward to working alongside leaders in the prevention and education space in the UK to increase health care professionals’ awareness of and skills for identifying problematic gambling and other digital behaviours.

“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”.

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