NHS Clinics To Open In The UK To Support Problem Gamblers

With gambling in the UK becoming an ever increasing problem, particularly with young or underage gambling, the NHS are looking at a nationwide expansion of up to 14 Clinics to tackle gambling related problems in children and young adults.

Gambling Rise In TheYoung

The Gambling Commission have reported there are over 55,000 children who have gambling related problems in the UK, with 450,000 gambling on a regular basis, the rise in gambling in children has overtaken that of drugs, drinking and smoking.NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said, “ This action shows just how seriously the NHS takes the threat of gambling addiction, even in young people.“ The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are many stories of lives lost and families destroyed.”

Gambling Related Suicide Increase

Liz Ritchie from ‘Gambling with Lives’, set up for bereaved families who have lost family members through gambling related suicide, has welcomed the clinics but says it’s just not enough.She feared that gambling suicide was on the increase with industrialised gambling, with addicts up to 15 times more likely to die from suicide than the population generally.As reported last week, some of the larger gambling companies in the UK are to increase their voluntary tax levy up to 1% over the next five years, but she fears it will not be enough to sustain funding for the NHS. Bereaved families are calling on the Government to introduce a mandatory tax levy for all gambling companies on their yearly profit of £14.5bn.Leeds will see the first NHS clinic of this kind open this Summer, with face-to-face consultations for people who are or have been affected by gambling related problems, following on will be in Manchester and Sunderland.Until now, the only face-to-face NHS clinic to provide help is based in London, but now this service will be rolled out across the UK as part of the latest strategy to combat gambling addiction.

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