Those who experience gambling problems in the north west of England will be able to access a new resource of support thanks to the launch of a new clinic this week.
The NHS Gambling Service is set to open a new facility in Greater Manchester. The clinic at Salford Quays aims to provide support to thousands more individuals and families across the region who are struggling with gambling addiction and related problems.
Figures show that there are around 224,000 adults in England, representing 0.4% of the population, who can be classed as gambling addicts, while another two million are considered in the ‘at risk’ category. But currently only around 3% of those in need of help get the right assistance.
The NHS Northern Gambling Service was launched in September last year, and the new service, along with the Salford Quays clinic are among the commitments that the NHS made in its Long Term Plan to take on the problem of gambling addiction. According to Matthew Gaskell, a consultant psychologist, who is the clinical lead for the clinic, it can make a big impact:
“Gambling addiction is a new public health crisis. I’ve seen the harms that problem gambling can cause people. However, the chances of recovery from addictions like problem gambling can be very good with proper treatment.”
Last summer, NHS England said that it would be launching a series of gambling addiction clinics and services, which will eventually be able to help adults and children across the country. Initially, however, the NHS Northern Gambling Service will be assisting adults only. The clinic will enable people to get a range of help, including addiction treatment schemes, mental health assistance, psychological therapy and peer support. The service is also designed to be able to provide help and support to those whose family members are affected by gambling addiction.