A BU academic has helped to develop a new training programme to support health professionals in diagnosing children and young people with gaming and gambling addictions.
Dr Sarah Hodge, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, worked with charities the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and Betknowmore UK to develop the ‘Mindful Resilience’ training programme.
The programme has been launched in London to address a lack of knowledge and confidence amongst health professionals in diagnosing children and young people with gaming and gambling addictions.
This comes after a 2019 report into gambling-related suicide published by the Gambling Commission highlighted the need for greater awareness among GPs and other primary care and frontline service providers.
Dr Hodge said: “Awareness is needed around gaming and gambling in children and young people, as it is an activity that they engage with which has the potential for challenges and harms.
“In addition, practitioners and many other stakeholders who work with children and young people have reported a feeling of a lack of training and awareness of gaming and gambling in this age group.”
The training content brings together insights from academics, psychologists, medical professionals and those with lived experience of gaming and gambling related harms.
It aims to equip practitioners to have the confidence to approach the topic of gaming and gambling with children and young people and signpost to support if needed.
The training programme has received the support of Shadow Mental Health Minister, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, herself a London-based medical doctor, who said: “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 Mindful Resilience Programme is now available free of charge to all health professionals in the London area.
For more information, please visit the YGAM website.