YGAM healthcare training programme gains parliamentary support

A new training programme established by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), Betknowmore UK and Bournemouth University has received the support of the Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Shadow Minister for Mental Health

The tripartite’s ‘Mindful Resilience’ campaign aims to address a lack of knowledge and confidence among health professions in diagnosing children and young people with gaming and gambling addictions.

In addition, the programme will promote signposting to the National Treatment Network and NHS for patients in need of support, and is initially available to health professionals in the London area.

The partners cited a 2019 UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) report into gambling-related suicide, highlighting ‘the need for greater awareness’ among GPs, primary care workers and frontline service providers.

“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,” said , Shadow Minister for Mental Health.

“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 programme builds on previous collaborations between YGAM and Betknowmore, including a May 2021 initiative which saw the duo provide nationwide gaming arcade operator Merkur UK with a bespoke training programme.

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. 

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.”

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