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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use
Knowledge Exchange

About GGTU

Who We Are

Gambling Gaming and Technology Use (formerly known as the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario) helps to build a better mental health and addictions system in Ontario. We support addictions and mental health service providers through training and education, developing digital tools and resources, and facilitating knowledge sharing.

Gambling, Gaming and Technology Use (GGTU) is part of the Knowledge Exchange and Education portfolio in CAMH’s Provincial System Support Program (PSSP), which moves evidence to action to improve systems in Ontario. Our team of therapist-trainers and education specialists develop and deliver trainings to provide professionals with the latest information on evidence-informed practices for the identification and treatment of problem gambling and other behavioural addictions, including problem technology use. All of our courses and webinars are accredited by the Canadian Problem Gambling Certification Board and the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are listed in the course descriptions below.

Problem gambling is associated with depression, anxiety, suicide, and substance use problems. Problem gambling also affects family and marital relationships, as well as work and academic performance. It can lead to bankruptcy and crime. As online gambling and gaming increase in popularity, there’s also a growing need to better understand the connection with problem technology use, which can include excessive behaviours related to gambling, such as playing video games, accessing social networks and online pornography, using online auctions or shopping, texting, and using Smartphones.

As more research emerges, GGTU will develop new evidence-based resources and trainings about problem technology use and related issues.

Our History

The history of GGTU dates back more than 20 years, when it was formally known as the Problem Gambling Project. The project later morphed into the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario (PGIO) under CAMH, in an effort to advance work in problem gambling. The collaboration between PGIO and CAMH connected researchers, clinicians, and other educators. PGIO served as a hub—where people with complex gambling problems could access resources, and where CAMH clinicians and specialists could share their expertise in gambling problems and other mental health and addictions problems.

Dr. Michael Bagby, Director of Clinical Research at CAMH, and Dr. Wayne Skinner, Deputy Clinical Director for CAMH’s Addictive Program, were instrumental in pushing for enhanced partnerships and community connections. They believed in bringing together CAMH’s diverse resources into one integrated identity with the collective goal of reducing harms caused by problem gambling.

Before becoming GGTU, PGIO was responsible for a number of firsts, including developing an app called Monitor Your Gambling Urges (MYGU). PGIO was also the first to create a community awareness package, complete with DVDs and videos, which was sold to many other jurisdictions in the world. PGIO was also considered the largest specialized gambling treatment program in Ontario, with clinical, educational, and community resources available for people affected by problem gambling.

Since joining PSSP in 2018, GGTU has been committed to reducing the harms associated with problem gambling, gaming, and technology use. It does this by providing evidence-informed trainings, webinars, online and in-person courses, conferences, a website, and other resources for providers of mental health and addiction services.

GGTU also develops and disseminates customized training and resources for a broad range of allied professionals. These trainings and resources promote awareness, early identification, and, when necessary, referral services to relevant programs and supports.

What we do

We develop and deliver trainings to provide professionals with the latest information on evidence-informed practices for the identification and treatment of problem gambling and other behavioural addictions, including problem technology use. Accredited by the Canadian Problem Gambling Certification Board and the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation, we offer courses that are online, face-to-face, and in blended learning formats.

A comprehensive annual needs assessment determines our training priorities for Ontario’s mental health and addictions system. GGTU also offers a comprehensive set of web-based psychoeducational tools for clinicians to recommend to their clients and their families as an adjunct to treatment. Tools are translated into five language and they include worksheets, web- and mobile-based diary tracking, and a community forum. Furthermore, we’ve developed handbooks to address priority populations such as adolescents, parents, families, and clients experiencing poverty. Key handbooks have been translated into 19 languages and are available in hardcopy or for PDF download.

 GGTU also publishes the world's first and longest-running online, peer-reviewed academic journal, Journal of Gambling Issues, established for the purpose of understanding problem gambling. The scope of the journal has expanded to include the study of problem video gaming and technology use.

Explore some of what we do:

 

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