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NHS to open young persons gambling clinic

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is opening up its first ever clinic which will be catering for young gambling addicts, with the National Problem Gambling Clinic aiming to offer their support for those aged between 13 and 25.

The move will form part of an overall expansion of support for gambling addiction as part of an NHS long-term strategy, which will see the opening of 14 clinics across England.

The UK’s Gambling Commission, backed by founder and director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, has described the opening of the clinics as “essential” in the need to provide easy access to support and treatment.

Until now, specialist face-to-face help has only been available in London at a clinic focused on addicts aged 16 and over. The first gambling clinicis due to open in Leeds this summer, it will then be followed by Manchester and then a young-persons clinic in Sunderland.

Mike Kenwood, Director of Development at GamCare, told the BBC more work is needed in education.

“In school you would have been more likely to receive education and awareness sessions around things like drugs and alcohol, safe sex, healthy eating in PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) lessons,” he said.

“There is a broader agenda which address all those things, but gambling is missing from it.”