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Sunday, 12 January 2020

NHS Expands Gambling Treatment Services With New Sunderland Clinic

Gambling Addiction

The NHS has opened a new gambling clinic in Sunderland, North-East England.

England’s NHS has acted on its promise to expand its gambling treatment services by opening a new gambling clinic in Sunderland. According to reports, the brand new clinic is run by the Northern Gambling Service and funded by the NHS as well as gambling charity GambeAware.

The Sunderland clinic will provide free treatment and support to gambling addicts and their families. It will also provide other treatment services including addiction treatment programmes, mental health treatment, psychological therapies, as well as family therapy.

The new clinic will be staffed by a consultant psychologist, a consultant psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist as well as a senior mental health nurse. Its launch comes months after the opening of a clinic in Leeds, the first gambling addiction clinic located outside of London.

Consultant Psychologist Matthew Haskell from the new clinic, said in a statement: “Gambling addiction is a new public health crisis. It’s causing serious harm to thousands of people [including] mental health problems, serious debt, breakdown of relationships, loss of employment, crime, homelessness and sometimes suicide.

“Through my work in mental health and addictions treatment over the years I’ve seen the harms that problem gambling can inflict on people. However, the chances of recovery from addictions like problem gambling can be very good with proper treatment. I often see people make goo sustained recoveries when they seek help.”

He continued, saying: “The Northern Gambling Service works alongside many other agencies and charities to support people. We believe ‘any door is the right door’ and people can either refer themselves for help, or comes to us via any of these agencies and charities.”

NHS Gambling Treatment

Last September, the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) partnered with charities GamCare and GambleAware as well as the Leeds City Council to launch the Northern Gambling Service clinic in Leeds, the very-first gambling treatment clinic based outside of London.

The Leeds clinic was one of the many new treatment facilities planned for the UK, with a new clinic based in Manchester soon to follow. All clinics will provide treatment for gambling addictions as well as mental health conditions. They will also support those who may be at risk of suicide.

Speaking about the NHS’ commitment to expanding gambling treatment services, Claire Murdoch, the NHS National Director for Mental Health, said: “The NHS is constantly rising to meet new health challenges. We are fighting back against the misery of mental ill health caused by gambling addiction by rolling out new specialist clinics across the country, as part of our long-term plan.

“While the NHS will always be there for people – adapting, improving and increasing different and new treatments as our patients need them – the gambling industry, which rakes in billions of pounds from punters and spends vast amounts on aggressive marketing to reel ever more people in, really has to shoulder the blame and ensure a fair amount of its profits help those in need.”

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