New NHS gambling service launches across the East Midlands
A free NHS service has been launched to offer specialist treatment and support to people in the East Midlands who are struggling with a gambling problem.
The East Midlands Gambling Harms Service, which is based in Derby, will provide specialist therapies, treatment and recovery to those affected by gambling addiction and gambling problems in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.
The team providing the service will include clinical psychologists, therapists, mental health practitioners and psychiatrists as well as experts-by-experience – people who have recovered from a gambling addiction themselves.
Most support will be provided through virtual treatment programmes and group workshops. Further support and advice will be available to family members and carers, with the support of other agencies to help with problems such as mental health, debt management and housing.
The service is being run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Paul Sanger, East Midlands Gambling Harms Service Manager, said: “The team are pleased to launch this service, to provide support and treatment to those individuals who are experiencing problems with gambling problems across the East Midlands region.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to work as one of a number of gambling services now in operation across the country in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.
“Our aim is to equip those in need of help with the tools to overcome the desire to gamble, and to support those close to someone who is experiencing problems with gambling. We are confident that this service will provide better access to help in the region.”
Chris Kershaw, a recovering compulsive gambler who has supported the launch of the East Midlands Gambling Harms Service, said: “Problem gambling can have extremely detrimental effects on people’s physical and mental health, relationships and work, as well as causing financial issues such as debt.
“For me, my 24/7 compulsive gambling led to a breakdown and suicide attempt in early February 2006. I lost everything – not just money but also many relationships, which had a massive impact on my mental health.
“This service is a vital resource for residents across the East Midlands, to help people make better life choices. The support available will help those struggling to lead better, more fulfilling lives – not only for themselves but also their often long-suffering loved ones.”
Any resident within the East Midlands wishing to access support from East Midlands Gambling Service can call 0300 013 2330 or visit www.eastmidlandsgambling.nhs.uk