On the 7th and 8th of December, Fast Forward had the pleasure to take part in the GambleAware 4th Annual Harm Minimisation Conference, held in London.
The Conference opened with an address by Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism & Heritage. Its 2 day programme was filled with a wide range of speakers. These included Dr. Alex (Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment Clinic and Chair, Responsible Gambling Research Group), Erika Langham (Lecturer in Health Promotion in the Public Health Program at CQ University), Professor Jon Grant (Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Chicago), and Professor Peter Collins (retired in 2010 as Professor of Public Policy Studies at the University of Salford).
The Conference provided an ideal environment for meeting representatives of various sectors, such as academia, the gambling industry, prevention and education projects and treatment services. The diverse group of attendees allowed for rich discussions, particularly regarding what gambling-related harm is, the treatment approaches available and self-exclusion options.
Chiara Marin, Senior Development Officer at Fast Forward, was invited to present about the Youth Problem Gambling Initiative. This is a programme we currently run across Scotland, having secured funding from GambleAware. We provide free training on youth gambling and problem gambling and we’re developing a gambling education toolkit (to find out more check out our article here).
Chiara also sat as part of the panel discussion on Who is particularly vulnerable to gambling-related harm?, together with Ian Wybron, Demos; Dr Steve Sharman, University of Lincoln; Justyn Larcombe, EPIC Risk Management; Simon Taylor, Professional Players Federation and Richard Ives, RGSB.
The conversation with conference participants touched particularly on the strengths and benefits of promoting prevention and early intervention by addressing gambling within both formal and informal education settings.
These two days were a valuable opportunity to share best practices and learn about recent studies on problem gambling. Fast Forward was delighted to be part of the Conference and we’re looking forward to continuing our work on promoting awareness, education and harm-minimisation around gambling and problem gambling in 2017.