11 Apr 2022

Mental Health: Gaming & Gambling Related Harm in Children & Young People

Around the time that the first cases of Covid-19 were being identified in Wuhan, China, another prominent health issue, identified by medical professionals, psychologists and those with first-hand experience was being increasingly discussed; specifically, gaming & gambling related harm in children and young people.

The recent PHE (now OHID) evidence review highlights how the links between mental health and gaming and gambling have become an increasingly important issue in healthcare, with young people spending more time online and some people experiencing a range of physical and emotional harms as a result of their gambling. The review states the prevalence of gambling among children and young people is higher than using e-cigarettes, smoking tobacco cigarettes, or taking illegal drugs, and there may also be a relationship between these other harmful activities and gambling. The report also identifies that impulsivity, substance use, being male, and depression are risk factors for harmful gambling. At its most severe, gambling addiction can lead to suicide.

In response, our charity, the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has worked with partners in healthcare and academia to develop the Mindful Resilience Programme, which aims to deliver free accredited training to NHS staff, mental health nurses, doctors, and other children’s health providers. We are aiming to fill the current gap in knowledge that many health professionals have when it comes to gaming & gambling related harm.

We see daily examples of the power that people in different areas of a child’s life can have; from parents and teachers to doctors and nurses. That’s why, as a charity, it is our mission to deliver expert, accredited training about gaming & gambling related harms to those people interacting with children every day. We encourage you to take a look at our free and accredited training offer to equip you and your teams with the knowledge and skills you will need to help prevent gambling and gaming harms from devastating patients’ lives.

Our Mindful Resilience Team, led by Programme Manager Paul Thomas will be attending the Healthcare Plus Show 2022 on the 18th and 19th of May. Make sure to call in and see them at stand number Q20, or if you’d prefer to schedule a specific time to meet, contact Paul at paulthomas@ygam.org

I hope you all enjoy what will no doubt be another excellent event.

Dr Jane Rigbye

CEO of the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust

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Dates and venue

26-27 APRIL 2023 + ExCeL LONDON