The new clinic launched on 8th January 2020, and is the third clinic to be opened by the NHS in the north of England to tackle the ongoing gambling crisis.
Organised by the Northern Gambling Service, the Sunderland centre aims to help people through their gambling addictions, providing “specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction, as well as those with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and suicidal feelings”.
The service also wants to help people who are close to those with gambling addictions, such as family and carers.
The NHS announced a long-term plan to see 14 clinics open around the country, with three northern services now available in Leeds, Manchester and Sunderland. Gambling has become a national issue, with NHS figures showing that around 340,000 people in Great Britain are estimated to have a gambling problem. The Gambling Commission classifies that of this number 55,000 children also have a gambling issue.
Working alongside the Leeds and York NHS Trust, Deadline Digital have produced several gambling case studies, and talked to many addicts and former addicts about what the service would mean to them.
Steve Ramsey, a former gambling addict, said that the service “isn’t just putting things in place so that you don’t have a bet, it’s repairing the damage that what you’ve been doing for years has caused”. He thought that the service might have made things different if it had “existed in my time”, and should provide some hope for gambling addicts using the service in years to come.
Video Journalist Paige Collier said “It has been a privilege to have been involved in producing the NHS Northern Gambling service videos. Hearing stories like Steve’s shows just how powerful it can be to open up about gambling addiction.
“It really demonstrates how much the new clinic in Sunderland can help change lives.”
Watch Steve’s case study below:
You can watch all of the gambling case studies on the Leeds and York PFT Youtube Channel here.