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View from the chamber: Gambling addicts needs help

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 July 2018

Archant

A few days ago Jeremy Hunt MP, as the health secretary, acknowledged the NHS needed to do more to help problem gamblers as he unveiled a plaque to mark 10 years of Central and North West London Foundation Trust’s national problem gambling clinic – still the only NHS clinic designed to treat gambling disorders.

Speaking in front of a select gathering at the clinic, Mr Hunt pledged to work with experts to find solutions that will help problem gamblers across the country.

Over the past decade, the clinic has seen thousands of patients and its services are required more than ever.

The number of people with gambling-associated problems has reached about half a million.

And many millions more are impacted by the problems caused by gambling.

Founded by its director, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones – a consultant psychiatrist – the long-term vision and hope is for an expansion of dedicated services with increasing awareness of problem gambling.

A key reason for this expansion is the wish to reduce the numbers of suicides, attempted suicides and self-harm episodes connected to problem gamblers.

Most of these are young men who have become hooked, found themselves deep in debt and can see no way out.

To be treated at CNWL’s national problem gambling clinic, people can self-refer or be referred. For more information about it, visit cnwl.nhs.uk.

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