Are you being affected by gambling?
If you think gambling is affecting you, the NHS has created clinics across England specifically to help. They’re easy to access and confidential. The team will provide you with information and support at every step.
The NHS clinics are specialist services that provide therapy and recovery support to people affected by gambling addiction. Some, including the NHS Northern Gambling Service, also support those close to people with a gambling addiction, such as family, partners, and carers.
You can directly access NHS gambling services by making a self-referral right now.
Here’s what you do
You can access help directly by making a self-referral or speak to a professional, such as your GP or support worker, who can do it on your behalf.
The NHS clinic will usually contact you to give you an assessment within a week, and they may send you forms to fill. It’s okay to ask for help to complete the forms.
Once you’ve provided the information requested by the clinic, someone from the team will contact you and book an appointment. They will choose a location that is best for you (including doing your treatment remotely by video call). Your first appointment will be an assessment and an opportunity to discuss your treatment options.
You can go alone or take someone with you, for example a partner, a friend, a loved one, or a carer.
You may be referred to other services, depending on what you need. You will be supported at every step.
Everyone’s treatment is different, that’s because your treatment pathway will be designed with you to meet your needs, but here are some of the things it might include:
Individual or group CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions with a professional assigned to help you
Trying out different tasks, or reading, to help your recovery
A network session with people in your life, such as a family member or case worker to plan and discuss your recovery
Everything will be agreed with you and explained.
CBT is a specialist type of talking therapy. It is the usual treatment for problems like gambling addiction and there is a lot of evidence to show that it works.
At the end of your treatment, you’ll have a final assessment with a trained professional to discuss the support you’ve received.
If ready, you will be discharged. But you will be contacted regularly to see how you are getting on. This is an opportunity to review your progress.
It could be that you need further support.
There are recovery groups which meet regularly that you will be encouraged to join.
Sometimes people have a relapse or just need some reassurance. Whatever happens, the NHS teams will understand and are there for you. You can reach out at any time for help and support. It is never too soon or too late.
Getting ready for change
While you are waiting to start your treatment, you might find it helpful to reflect and prepare. We realise that it can be a big step and that change can be difficult so we created the ‘Preparing for change’ page to support you if you need it.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to do this alone. Talking to someone and getting support from your network is part of the process and will help you deal with change.