At University, one of our close friends was struggling with a gambling addiction. It took a number of months to have a conversation with him about it. It started off with going to the casino after a night out and sometimes, placing a bet on the local football team. Soon we found out that this behaviour had escalated and on the night that our student loan had dropped he had put all his student loan on red. This risk had not paid off and he found himself in a very difficult situation. We wanted to find him the best help.
As trainee doctors in the NHS, we met a patient who was suffering from mental health issues secondary to gambling addiction. We witnessed first-hand the serious implications of this devastating addiction. Our patient was unable to access appropriate care to manage his gambling addiction and we found out that current treatment options only cater to 8% of those who need it. We wanted to do more.
Following further research and discussions with gambling addicts, psychologists, and psychiatrists we began to understand the frequency, severity and nature of gambling-related harms. Something that we believe is preventable.
As a result, in 2018, RecoverMe was born. A prototype was built and this was tested with current and ex-problem gamblers. From this, we have shaped the therapy and app to position us to launch RecoverMe in Spring 2020.