PHA hosts gambling symposium

PHA hosts gambling symposium
Scenes from the symposium. (Photo courtesy of the Public Hospital's Authority)

Nearly 100 persons attended a Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) sanctioned gambling symposium at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre  (SRC) last week, aimed at highlighting “the serious effects of gambling and its impact on the well-being of a person’s mental and physical health”.

Under the theme ‘Gambling: Fun or Addiction” the inaugural meeting  was designed to raise the level of awareness surrounding gambling in the workplace and community; and bring together clinicians from various health sectors and addiction fields, to develop a better understanding of what ‘problem gambling’ and ‘gambling disorders’ are.

In a press statement, the PHA said, organizers also aimed to assess how to better serve individuals and families experiencing gambling problems and to advocate for clinical training opportunities to increase problem gambling treatment capacity locally “and ultimately to seek to provide individuals and families with the basic tools and resources to respond to problem gambling in their lives.”

“Internationally renowned psychiatrist and therapist Dr David Allen was the featured presenter, addressing the topic Harmful Effects & Prevalence of Gambling Addiction in the Bahamas,” the statement said.

“He commended the event organizers encouraging them to continue forums that provide information and engage the public.”

The symposium was hosted by SRC addiction professionals in conjunction with the training and development department.

In a continuing initiative, the PHA said, the  addiction professionals are advocating for specialized training in the field of addiction in order to adequately meet the needs of this large overlooked population, and as a first step, it is proposing to make the symposium an annual event.