Problem gambling

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There may be as many as 593,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain. Problem gamblers are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem,stress, anxiety and depression.

Problem gamblers are more likely than other people to experience the following harms:

  • Financial harms: overdue utility bills; borrowing from family friends and loan sharks; debts; pawning or selling possessions; eviction or repossession; defaults; committing illegal acts like fraud, theft, embezzlement to finance gambling; bankruptcy; etc...
  • Family harms: preoccupied with gambling so normal family life becomes difficult; increased arguments over money and debts; emotional and physical abuse, neglect and violence towards spouse/partner and/or children; relationship problems and separation/divorce.
  • Health harms: low self-esteem; stress-related disorders; anxious, worried or mood swings; poor sleep and appetite; substance misuse; depression, suicidal ideas and attempts; etc...
  • School/college/work harms: poor school, college or work performance; increased absenteeism; expulsion or dismissal.

Are you at risk of problem gambling? Answer these quick questions. 


Find support for problem gambling on the tabs below:

UK services


Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - Northern Gambling Service

Northern Gambling Service provides 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 provides intervention to people close to those with gambling addiction, such as family, partners, and carers.



Be Gamble Aware

Information and advice about gambling.



National Gambling Helpline

Confidential advice, information and emotional support for people who are struggling with gambling

Tel (free, open 8am - midnight every day): 0808 8020 133



A web 'chat' service, where you can talk to a GamCare adviser by typing, and they will type back. The service can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC, and advisers can send resources and links for you to read later.



Face-to-face support

The National Gambling Helpline and Netline are also the routes into treatment if someone needs counselling or other help to stop gambling.

  • The national gambling treatment service provides free, specialist treatment for anyone experiencing difficulties resulting from a gambling problem – including gamblers, partners and family members – across Great Britain. Treatment can be provided over the phone, face-to-face or online, and may be one-to-one support or group work where people can meet others in similar situations.The specially trained and experienced practitioners give people the safe, confidential space that they need to discuss how gambling affects them, and work with them to find strategies to help them move forward in a positive way. Practitioners work within a broad range of therapeutic approaches, meaning that people get treatment that is tailored to their needs and goals for recovery. Face-to-face treatment in Sheffield is provided by Krysallis Sheffield which is the local GamCare partner.
  • People with more complex problems, for example if they have certain other health conditions as well as a gambling problem, may be referred to the CNWL Problem Gambling Clinic. This is an out-patient clinic based in London which can help people from across Great Britain by video-conferencing. A second clinic in Leeds is being planned, but is not yet open.
  • Those gamblers who are most severely addicted may benefit from residential rehabilitation. Gordon Moody Association provides intense support consisting of individual and group therapy in a therapeutic community. The residential programme is for a period of 12 weeks during which residents are helped to adopt new coping skills which help them to attain recovery and to integrate back into society, without the need to gamble. An alternative programme is also available which combines two weekend residential retreats with 12 weekly therapy sessions delivered either online or face to face. 


Gamcare Youth Services

Young people may be problem gamblers themselves or affected by another person’s gambling. Our full treatment services are offered to anyone 16 years or older, available through our regional partner networks. Young people of any age can speak to the specially trained advisers on the helpline and net lines below.

Tel: 0808 8020 133



Support for students

The University of Sheffield has a list of services, specifically for students.



Advice if you're feeling suicidal

Urgent help is available:

  • If you're accessing mental health services, contact the service and speak to your mental health professional or a duty worker
  • If you're not accessing mental heath services, contact your GP practice or NHS 111 to get an urgent appointment.
  • You can also ring the helpline on 0808 801 0440 (calls from landlines are free. If you call from a mobile your provider may charge you and the call might appear on your bill).
  • For more mental health support related to suicidal thoughts, click here.
  • If you or someone else is in immediate risk of serious harm or injury go to A&E or call 999.


Support with debt

It is generally not helpful to deal with the financial consequences of gambling without also addressing the psychological and emotional aspects. Gambling-related debt may need to be managed differently from other debt - for example you may need help to restrict access to funds or to gambling opportunities to avoid further debt or losses -  therefore it is important to tell anyone helping you with money or debt that it is gambling-related.


Group help


Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a group of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to do the same.Their meetings involve no counsellors or professional bodies, just other compulsive gamblers.

Go to a meeting at St Thomas Philadelphia Training Centre: more information on the website.


Smart Recovery

Smart Recovery meetings help individuals recover from any addictive behaviour and lead meaningful and satisfying lives.

They do this using using a four point programme:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours
  4. Living a Balanced Life

There are a number of Smart Recovery meetings in Sheffield – use the meetings search on the website.



Door43 – Emotional, mental and sexual health support for young people (not just gambling support)

A Sheffield service here to support all aspects of mental health. Sometimes you just need space to think, and you can do that at Door43.

The team at Door43 includes youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers, peers supporters and more, so there will always be someone to help.

Tel: 0114 201 2800

Drop in to Star House during the times on the website here.


Self help


GamCare self help resources

GamCare has designed these resources to assist anyone who has recognised that gambling may be an issue for them. If you have arrived at this realisation and have made the decision that you would like to change your relationship with gambling, the following workbook is designed to help you, working at your own pace.

Visit the website for more information.


GamCare forum & chat room

The GamCare Forum is an online message board, providing a safe and secure space for users (who may be gamblers or their partners, friends and family) to share experiences, thoughts and feelings about problem gambling. Although the Forum is regularly moderated by the GamCare Team, and you'll find we contribute and reply to many messages, it is designed first and foremost for you to come together with other people in similar situations, working through similar problems. The GamCare forum is available 24/7.

The GamCare chat room runs sessions weekly where users can use live text chat to talk about issues related to problem gambling. It is a safe and supportive environment, moderated by a GamCare adviser. Some sessions might be fairly busy and intense; others will be quieter and more relaxed.

 Visit the forum here.

Find our more about the chat room here.


Gordon Moody Gambling Therapy App

A free app providing a collection of tools and information to help you identify and overcome problem gambling.

Find out more here.


Information on self exclusion

Self-exclusion is a facility for those that have decided that they wish to stop gambling for at least six months and wish to be supported in their decision to stop. Once you have made a self-exclusion agreement, the gambling company must close your account and return any money in your account to you. It must also remove your name and details from any marketing databases it uses. 

Find out more here. 


Books (please note: this is not an endorsement of self help books)

Friends & family


Gamanon meetings for friends and family

In a separate room to Gamblers Anonymous, these meetings are for friends and family of compulsive gamblers.

Go to a meeting at St Thomas Philadelphia Training Centre: more information on the website.


Advice if someone is feeling suicidal

Urgent help is available:

  • If the person is accessing mental health services, contact the service and speak to their usual mental health professional or a duty worker
  • If they're not accessing mental heath services, contact your GP practice (or NHS 111 if you don't know which practice they're at) to get an urgent appointment.
  • You can also ring the helpline on 0808 801 0440 (calls from landlines are free. If you call from a mobile your provider may charge you and the call might appear on your bill).
  • For more mental health support related to suicidal thoughts, click here.
  • If you or someone else is in immediate risk of serious harm or injury go to A&E or call 999.


Gambling with Lives

Gambling with Lives was set up by the families and friends of young men who have taken their own lives as a direct result of gambling. These were all very normal, bright, popular and happy young men who had great futures ahead of them … gambling was their only problem.

Gambling with Lives aims to:

  • Raise awareness amongst gamblers, their families and friends, and health professionals of just how dangerous gambling can be
  • Campaign to reduce gambling related harm through greater regulation of gambling products
  • Campaign for more and better treatment for gamblers, integrated with the NHS, and support for families and friends
  • Ensure that families and friends bereaved by gambling influence the decision making of government and the bodies responsible for regulating the gambling industry

If your family has been bereaved by gambling related suicide, please contact them.


Tel: 07864 299158



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