UK gamblers who develop addiction will have a new treatment resource from this month after the launch of a new clinic, based in Sunderland.
Set up by the Northern Gambling Service department of the National Health Service (NHS) the clinic has been designed to support patients who have exhibited signs of problem gambling. Those referred to the clinic will be able to draw on the assistance of a range of medical specialists, including a consultant psychiatrist and a consultant psychologist, along with a senior mental health nurse and a clinical psychologist.
Speaking about the launch of the new service, Matthew Gaskell, who works as the consultant psychologist at the clinic, said that gambling addiction was a serious public health issue that was causing significant harm to thousands of individuals in the UK, but that with intervention and support, it is possible for those affected by problem gambling to recover:
“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 good sustained recoveries when they seek help.”
The clinic will be able to offer a range of treatments for patients. These include psychological therapy, mental health treatment, peer support, family therapy and addiction treatment. It will be funded both through the NHS and through the gambling industry charity GambleAware, and follows the launch of a similar clinic in Leeds last year, which was the first dedicated problem gambling service outside London. And according to media reports, the NHS plans to open another clinic, this time in Manchester, which would be able to help patients in the North West of England.