Dr Allin-Khan MP, the Shadow Minister for Mental Health, has supported a training programme initiated by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), Betknowmore UK and Bournemouth University.
The trio’s ‘Mindful Resilience’ campaign will promote the signposting of patients in need of assistance to the National Treatment Network and NHS, with the initiative being made available to health practitioners in the London area.
A key objective of the programme is to address a perceived lack of knowledge and confidence in diagnosing children and young people with gaming and gamblng addiction problems among medical professionals.
The Shadow Minister remarked: “The Mindful Resilience Programme is a pioneering initiative, aiming to address the gaps in existing support available to health care professionals working with young people living with gambling addictions.
“It is vital that we work proactively to tackle these addictions and support those affected. And the first step is ensuring that our health professionals have the knowledge and confidence to offer young people, struggling with these challenges, the support they need.”
The parnters cited a 2019 UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) report into gambling-related suicide, highlighting ‘the need for greater awarness’ among GPs, primary care workers and frontline service providers.
Additionally, development of the ‘Mindful Resilience’ training has been informed by academic insight as well as input from individuals with lived experience of gaming and gambling related harms, medical professionals and psychologists.
YGAM and Betknowmore UK have previously collaborated on similar safer gamlbing and addiction treatment initiatives, notably providing a bespoke training programme to nationwide gaming arcade operator Merkur UK in May 2021.
Dr Sarah Hodge, a Bournemouth University cyberpsychologist who worked on the establishment of the programme, remarked: “It was becoming increasingly clear to those of us who have studied and worked with gaming and gambling related harms, that the health sector was lacking in the knowledge and confidence to identify risks and appropriately signpost young people and their families.
“Both charities are aware of the scale of the issue and it’s a natural progression for them to work with academics like myself to develop and provide training to those health professionals who need support.”