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Mental Health Services: Gambling

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL7100, tabled on 19 April 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place to increase the provision of services for gambling addiction, in particular in connection with mental health services.

Answered on

1 May 2018

Any decisions on the commissioning of effective treatment services are the responsibility of local commissioners, based on an assessment of local need.

NHS Choices offers information on a range of services to problem gamblers including those provided by GamCare, the Gordon Moody Association and Gamblers Anonymous. Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has a national problem gambling clinic which accepts referrals from all over the United Kingdom including those with mental health problems.

Problem gambling can cause physical and mental health problems, including anxiety disorders and depression. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 and has transformed treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression in England. Over 900,000 people now access IAPT services each year and the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health has pledged to expand services further to see a further one million more people treated for mental health problems every year by 2020 alongside improving quality. Although problem gambling is not listed amongst the provisional diagnosis categories that IAPT treats, IAPT practitioners would be able to treat common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety which problem gamblers may present with.