1. ITV Report

How gambling addiction drove Truro father to brink of suicide

Lee Russell said his gambling addiction made him consider taking his own life. Credit: ITV News West Country

A father from Truro has revealed how close he came to ending his own life after gambling away more than £100,000.

Lee Russell said his gambling addiction - which started when he was 18-years-old - resulted in a mental health breakdown which left him on the brink.

It was in July 2018 that the father planned to end his own life, after dropping his son at his parents’ house and writing letters to his loved ones.

Lee and his son. Credit: ITV News West Country

But fortunately Lee’s plan was disrupted after his partner sensed something was wrong.

The effect that it had on my mental health was considerable and to the point which I was ready to end my life.

My son had gone round to my parents’ house for the evening and I had written notes for all of my family. I was ready to end my life because of the effect that gambling had had on me.

I was just lucky enough that my partner now could sense something wasn’t right with me.

– Lee on his mental health

That moment in Lee’s life proved to be a turning point, as he sought to clear his debts and quit gambling.

He is now 19 months clean and has set up a support group to help those struggling with gambling addiction.

Lee is now 19 months clean. Credit: ITV News West Country

Before I started attending, I had no hope whatsoever that I was ever going to take control of the gambling - the gambling was consuming me.

I had no hope that I would get out of that.

– Lee on why support groups are so vital

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