We work with a range of people and organisations including GPs and primary care professionals, NHS mental health trusts, local council services, drug and alcohol services, housing, education and employment agencies, the criminal justice system, third sector organisations, Citizens Advice, debt agencies and homelessness services, all of whom may support individuals with a gambling problem.
This page explains how to make a referral to us on behalf of someone in your care, and how to help people directly.
Following a discussion with a person who is worried about their gambling, and with their consent, you can refer them to our team for help.
Before you refer someone into our service, please:
- Check who we can help, including the counties that we cover, and ensure that the person is eligible.
- Make sure that the person gives their consent to be contacted by us. You may like to print a copy of our service leaflet and share it with them.
- Ask the person the best telephone number for us to use when contacting them – please be sure to provide us with the correct number.
You may also want to ask them to complete our self-assessment questionnaire, so they understand the severity of their gambling problem.
The referral process is simple and straightforward. All we ask is that you provide us with some brief details about yourself and the person you are referring. You can do this either by email or by completing the enquiry form below.
Referral by email
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – please include the following information:
- Your name, role, organisation and contact details
- The name of the person you are referring
- Their telephone number
- The area where they live (e.g. county or city)
- Brief details about the reason for the referral – what harm is being caused by their gambling?
- Confirmation that the person has given consent for the referral and for their personal and contact details to be shared with us (East Midlands Gambling Harms Service)
- Confirmation that the person has given consent to be contacted by us directly
- Confirmation that you have checked the telephone number provided and it is accurate and the best number to contact the person named above.
Please complete the form below. You will be provided with an ID reference number for your referral.
Following up on referrals
If you wish to follow up on a referral you have made, please call the team on 0300 013 2330.
If you know that someone you are supporting has an issue with problem gambling, you can help them by discussing the options for help and support available to them.
The person may not be able to think or say clearly what is going on, due to the emotional impact that the gambling is having on them or others. You can also help them identify their worries.
If you know that someone participates in gambling, you may suspect that it has got out of control if there are reports of:
- Financial problems or debts
- Family tensions and arguments
- Difficulties at work or with studies, days off sick and unexplained absences
- Impending court cases
- Poor sleep and appetite
- Drug and/or alcohol misuse
- Stress, anxiety, depression and/or thoughts of suicide.
You may wish to reflect back on the pattern of events you have observed, expressing concern (“This must be difficult for you…”), and raise a question as to whether they are linked to gambling. The person may not be willing to admit they have a problem yet, not even with further probing. However, you have created an open door. When the person is ready and wants to talk, they can approach you as a ‘trusted’ professional in whom they can confide.
It is helpful if you:
- Talk about gambling in practical, everyday terms
- Maintain a non-judgemental and compassionate approach towards the individual and their specific circumstances
- Explore reasons for change with the person through reflection, reframing and inviting new perspectives (and avoid arguing or confrontational approaches which provoke defensiveness and resistance)
- Instil a realistic sense of hope that, with the right help and support, things can get better.
If the person is worried that gambling has taken over their life and is creating serious problems, completing the self-assessment questionnaire may help.
Although it is not a perfect measuring tool, the questionnaire will indicate whether they are likely to benefit from a gambling treatment service.
Gathering further information
It is helpful if you can check with the person:
- How long they have been gambling, when they started to be worried by it and the reasons why
- Other problems they consider to be linked to their gambling; these may include debt, depression, and using alcohol to cope
- Safety issues – risks of self-harm and/or harm to other people, and actions to take
- What their overall aims are – whether they want to limit or stop their gambling and the benefits they anticipate from this. (Please note that controlled gambling is difficult to maintain because of the ease with which loss of control can occur.)
If the person is a ‘low risk gambler’ or ‘moderate risk gambler’ based on the self-assessment questionnaire, but is concerned about their gambling and wants to change, you may wish to direct them towards the self-help resources page of this website.
Alternatively, if the person has self-assessed as being a ‘problem gambler’ using the questionnaire, you may wish to discuss our service offer, which is described on the ‘our approach’ page. The person may decide that now is the time to seek outside help for their gambling – in which case, please discuss making a referral to East Midlands Gambling Harms Service. The person can make a self-referral if they prefer.
If, for any reason, the person does not feel an NHS service will work for them, you can discuss other options for help with them through the NHS website.
There are also many services providing advice and support to help manage the impact of problem gambling and gambling addiction, such as debt, housing, legal or relationship advice, mental health and drug and alcohol services. Take a look at our recommended support sites on the self-help page.
For more information on services that are available in your area, visit your local authority website.