- Mother of girl who committed suicide over gambling losses says more adequate care is needed
- The Northern Gambling Services works on developing 14 clinics nation-wide to provide better care
- Volunteers relied on to help local addicts and support them through their fight with addiction.
The United Kingdom now has 340,000 people who suffer from gambling addiction. The Northern Gambling Service, National Healthy System and GambleAware, as well as MPs, are seeking ways to amend the situation and avoid the story of Kimberley Wadsworth from ever happening again.
Gambling Away the Family’s Home
Kimberley Wadsworth gambled £36,000 in a fortnight, committing suicide shortly after the loss and leaving her mother homeless as a result.
Kimberley Wadsworth started gambling back in 2015, visiting brick-and-mortar shops and also playing at online casinos. Plagued by depression, the death of her father and personal issues in her marital life, Wadsworth sought an escape to an alternative world. Her case is not the first one.
The young woman had raked up £44,000 worth of gambling debt. Seeking a way out of the financial burden, she opened up to her mother who then sold her house and offered to pay off her daughter’s debt. However, Wadsworth used the money to gamble more.
She never paid a single penny off, her mother told the BBC. Wadsworth was also supposed to meet with a hypnotherapist to help her overcome her gambling addiction, but she skipped the appointment.
It’s Too Late for Me, Mum
‘It’s too late for me, mum’ was the message Wadsworth sent her mother before taking her own life. A grieving mother has now opened about the dangers of gambling and specifically the lack of adequate care for people who have fallen victim to gambling addiction.
According to her, should help have been more readily available to her daughter, the fatal incident may have been avoided. Her comments come at a time when the Northern Gambling Service (NHS) is focusing on developing more comprehensive services to help gambling addicts, including a clinic in Leeds, the first outside London.
The clinic is commissioned by the National Health System (NHS) and GambleAware, an NGO looking to boost awareness about the problems that gambling addicts face. The two organizations are funding the campaign which is expected to cost £1 million per annum.
To be successful, the NHS has to rely on volunteers who have experienced the problem themselves. One of those volunteers is Chris Murphy from Leeds. Murphy became an addict when he won £350 off a single wager back he was 17 and has since spent £100,000 on various gambling contests. When he was 23, Murphy tried to take his own life.
Today he is 33 and he hasn’t gambled for eight months. Speaking to the BBC, Murphy revealed his opinion of the issue. To him, the problem lied in the fact that there was lack of support and awareness for the issue.
As well as a lot of ‘self-defeatism,’ with addicts constantly putting themselves down. Chiming in, NGS consultant psychologist Matthew Gaskell has shed some light on how the organization intends to help gambling addicts.
First, Gaskell explained that not every two addicts are alike and therefore more personalized care packages should be sought out. This is just the beginning though, as the United Kingdom is now hoping to see 14 such clinics open doors to assist people.
Presently, there are 340,000 people across the United Kingdom who suffer from advanced stages of gambling addiction.