Gamblers in the UK who face gambling-related issues now have the option to apply for help as the country has opened a new Primary Care Gambling Service (PCGS) in London.
Developed by Hurley Group and backed by the National Health Service, the aim of the new service is to offer help to people who are facing or have faced harm related to gambling.
This announcement highlights the need to understand gambling-related risks. Gamblers are not fully aware of how risky gambling can be and very few follow responsible gambling.
More About Primary Care
The PCGS will offer support through a team of experts including mental health nurses, treatment specialists, therapists, and general practitioners.
The center will work in collaboration with GamCare, a charitable organization best known for providing advice, support, and information to gamblers.
The initiative is funded by GambleAware, which was recently in the news for launching safer gambling initiatives.
The new service will not only provide help to the victims but will also offer training to help GPs learn to identify the signs of gambling-related issues in patients.
What Else Are We Doing?
GambleAware is working to promote the Safer Gambling Campaign and the National Gambling Treatment Service, which is being supported by a number of major names including the Royal College of General Practitioners.
The purpose of this initiative is to develop a competency framework to treat gambling problems within the organization. All these organizations are working together to create a standardized system that outlines the experience and skills practitioners need to work in the field.
What Are Gambling Related Problems?
Gambling is known to have economic and social impacts, but very few people talk about how it affects one’s mental or physical health.
There are reasons to believe that gambling is harmful to one’s physical and psychological health. It can quickly turn into an addiction and cause people to fall into depression. People who gamble are also more likely to suffer from migraines, distress, anxiety, and intestinal disorders.
In addition to this, it can cause people to feel helpless and despondent. Moreover, reports found that gamblers can have trouble in finding love or maintaining relationships as they’re too distracted.
Government bodies have been working hard to educate people about the side effects of gambling. A large number of people who gamble start it as a hobby but it soon turns into an addiction that can be hard to give up.
Since gambling is unpredictable, it can cause people to bear financial losses that can result in health issues.
There’s hope that these new initiatives will help educate people about the risk of gambling.
GambleAware is running advertising content across digital platforms, press, and radio to help people become more aware of gambling risks. The tagline ‘Start to regain control’ is designed to highlight how gambling causes people to lose focus.
How’s PCGS Going to Handle It?
There’s evidence that very few gamblers talk to their GPs or health professionals about their gambling addiction.
The PCGS intends to find ways to identify people at risk as they may not necessarily ask for it. The service will first become available in parts of London including Bromley, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, and Bexley, before spreading to other areas.