YGAM launches GP training programme on gambling & gaming addiction

YGAM has launched a new training programme on gambling addiction for GPs.

The Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has announced the launch of a new training programme on gambling and gaming addictions for healthcare professionals, which includes general practitioners in partnership with Bournemouth University, Betknowmore UK and the Responsible Gaming Council. 

YGAM’s new training programme

The training programme, which is named the “Mindful Resilience Programme” and is intended to provide healthcare professionals with “evidence-led, accredited, quality training” on the health risks associated with gambling-related harm.

YGAM’s scheme will start in London, and then be expanded into the West Midlands in 2021 with plans to roll the scheme out on a national scale in 2022.

In its announcement, YGAM said one of the major reasons behind this scheme was a 2019 report into gambling-related suicide published by the Gambling Commission. This report highlighted a greater need for awareness on the issue among healthcare professionals.

According to the Commission’s report, which used analysis of the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 5% of those who attempted suicide in the previous year were problem gamblers.

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. 

“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.”

Dr Sarah Hodge, lecturer in psychology at Bournemouth University said: “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.”

Betknowmore chief executive 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.”

YGAM also revealed that the Canada-based Responsible Gaming Council (RGC) will evaluate the programme to judge its successes and failings.

RGC senior researcher Dr. Sasha Stark said: “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.”

Another scheme from YGAM

The launch of this programme comes after YGAM and Betknowmore UK partnered together to launch a training program to help workers in the British gambling market to identify signs of problem gambling.

The safer gambling training is intended to strengthen player protection standards and protect consumers from gambling-related harms.

This programme is made up of six interactive digital training modules which each cover key areas such as customer vulnerability, customer interaction, safeguarding, employee mental health and identifying harms.

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