Epic Risk Management has teamed up with addiction and mental health specialists Whysup and Teen Tips, an independent supplier of mental health training, to develop a comprehensive, rigorously tested gambling harm education programme.
During the 2021/22 academic year, the self-funded independent programme will be offered to students aged 15 to 18 in 200 secondary schools and colleges, with the goal of reinforcing the importance of education, awareness, and prevention surrounding gambling-related harm.
Crucial in educating young people
Patrick Foster, Epic’s director of the UK and the rest of the world said: “The workshops we deliver to this sector are crucial in educating young people on the damage that gambling and gaming can cause because despite being a vulnerable demographic, most are oblivious to the potential consequences of their actions.
“Our work with young people continues to be the most important work that we do, and always will be.”
Furthermore, the programme will include a combination of online webinars and video content, as well as face-to-face delivery for parents and instructors.
It combines the delivery of lived experience stories for kids in grades 10 to 13, Teen Tips online webinars for parents and teachers, online tools and information packs for all secondary school-aged children, and access to the Epic information app, all in collaboration with Whysup.
Important and timely project
Alicia Drummond, founder of Teen Tips said: “I am so pleased we are able to contribute to this important and timely project because we have seen first-hand, the devastating impact gambling addiction can have on the lives of young people and their families.
“It is a problem which often goes unseen until it is causing significant damage, and we believe young people need to be informed about how they might be unwittingly lured into gambling.”
The lessons will be presented to public schools with the goal of raising knowledge about gambling harm so that risks can be identified and mitigated.
It will address topics such as industry practises, such as advertising, different product risk profiles, support pathways, and how to recognise indicators of harm in yourself and your classmates.
A rounded offering
Epic Risk Management’s founder and CEO, Paul Buck, explained: “There is an undisputed link between mental health and addiction, so it makes perfect sense for us to provide a rounded offering explaining how the various elements affect one another.
“We are proud to partner with Whysup and Teen Tips to ensure that our education is holistic, covers a wider curriculum and raises awareness of the dangers rather than place all the responsibility at the individual’s door. Our programme will be fully, and independently, evaluated.
“By involving the care providers too – parents, guardians and teachers – we’re helping everyone to recognise the tell-tale signs of addiction or a mental health issue that could lead to problems down the line, allowing treatment or mental health services to be sourced before serious problems arise.”
The sessions will be updated on a regular basis to reflect the ever-changing nature of potential hazards to young people, such as live esports events, cryptocurrency trading, and game issues like skins and loot boxes.
Epic will continue to engage with privately funded independent schools as well.