Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow minister for mental health, has endorsed a new training programme developed by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust, Betknowmore UK, and Bournemouth University, which was launched in London.
The ‘Mindful Resilience’ programme attempts to address health professionals’ lack of understanding and confidence in recognising gaming and gambling addictions in children and young adults.
“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,” Allin-Khan said.
“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.”
Contributors to the development
Academics, psychologists, medical professionals, and those with lived experience of gaming and gambling-related harms contributed to the development of the training content. It will also encourage patients in need of assistance to seek help from the National Treatment Network and the NHS.
Each party also cites a Gambling Commission report on gambling-related suicide from 2019, which it claims emphasised the need for increased awareness among GPs and other primary care and frontline service providers.
Dr. Sarah Hodge, a cyberpsychologist at Bournemouth University who collaborated with YGAM and BetKnowMore UK to develop the training programme, said: “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.”