Gambling: Mental Health

Department of Health written question – answered on 27th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Porter of Spalding Lord Porter of Spalding Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the link between mental health and problem gambling; and what steps they are taking to address that link.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government has not made any formal assessment of a direct link between mental health and problem gambling.

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.

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