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Healthcare workers - Identification and Brief Advice

Who is this training for?

It is essential that healthcare professionals receive additional training to increase their knowledge of gambling disorders, its impacts, identification, interventions and treatments available. GamCare are well placed to provide this service with its 17 years of problem gambling advice, treatment and training experience.

Training Summary

Our Identification and Brief Advice course for health care providers is designed to help you improve the care and support you and your practice provide We offer practical screening tools and the skills to manage the impact of problem gambling on service users.

Why problem gambling training?

Gambling disorders have a much higher prevalence rate among those seeking help from healthcare professionals. However, more often than not most gamblers remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. We know only a small percentage of problem gamblers are seen at specialist treatment services.

The reasons are various:

  • A lack of awareness among professionals as to seriousness of disordered gambling. “One in four disordered gamblers has attempted suicide; the suicide rate is 20 times higher than non-gamblers.”
  • A belief by gamblers they can sort themselves out
  • A lack of screening of those at most at risk
  • A gambler’s lack of awareness/acceptance of gambling being a problem
  • An expectation among professionals that the gambler can stop
  • Physical and psychological symptoms treated, not underlying causes
  • A lack of awareness of support and treatment available
  • What do you need to know?

It is essential for all healthcare professionals to be aware of problem gambling as an addictive disorder, to be able to identify patients at risk they are likely to come across. It will be of added benefit to know what to do to help a gambler.

Most problem gamblers and those affected by problem gambling do not present with this as their main issue, but with related indications

  • Anxiety or depression, insomnia, psychosomatic symptoms etc.
  • Substance related disorders
  • Suicidality
  • Anger issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Financial issues
  • What can you do?

A number of evidence based screening tools can be used to better identify those patients experiencing problem gambling or those at risk. These range from short (four questions or less) to long (more than ten questions) questionnaires.

We know that early interventions can improve the outcomes of patients. Brief intervention tools similar to those used for substance or alcohol related issues are indispensable practice. Intervention tools involves increased understanding the associated impacts of suicidal ideation, social, psychological, family, friends, employment, education and financial.

Immediate actions a gambler can take to reduce their gambling behaviour.

Healthcare workers are not expected to be experts in the treatment of problem gambling as there are agencies that provide this service, GamCare being the largest national provider by far.

Healthcare workers - Identification and Brief Advice Application Form