GamCare And Samaritans Team Up In Suicide Awareness Campaign

GamCare, a national gambling advocacy charity, has teamed up with Samaritans, a suicide prevention organisation, to create a new set of awareness-raising training materials for betting and gaming operators.

The training materials would concentrate on raising awareness of gambling-related suicide and assisting betting company employees in improving the skills and trust they need to help at-risk customers.

GamCare also highlighted the fact that 11 percent of problem gamblers who called the National Gambling Helpline in 2019 and 2020 said they were having or had previously had suicidal thoughts.

Customers at risk

Anna Hemmings, GamCare CEO said: “Pairing our experience and expertise of training the gambling industry and treating gambling harms with Samaritans’ expertise in suicide prevention will make a real difference to those most at risk.

“With the isolation of lockdown exacerbating gambling harms for some people, it is more important than ever that our support services unite to help gambling businesses identify and support their customers at risk of harm.

“With proper training providing new skills and expertise, the industry and its staff can play a vital role in identifying vulnerable customers at risk of harm.”

Recognise market improvements

The partners will draw on each other’s expertise in treating gambling-related harm and suicide prevention to recognise possible market improvements and provide gambling companies with realistic guidance and training.

Free e-learning and face-to-face training modules for all gambling industry employees, from customer service teams to safer gambling and enforcement departments, will be among the notable initiatives.

Resources will be focused not only on raising awareness of gambling-related suicide, but also on ensuring that betting operator employees can look after their own health while helping others.

Suicide prevention

Rachel Evans, a Samaritans Learning and Development Consultant, said: “Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and we developed this training with GamCare to educate and equip gambling industry staff with the knowledge and skills they need to identify and support people at risk of gambling harm related suicide. 

“GamCare already delivers excellent training on reducing gambling related harms and our collaborative effort will be the first bespoke training on suicide prevention specifically.

“We’re proud to have created these much-needed resources with GamCare and urge all gambling businesses to demonstrate their commitment to suicide prevention by enrolling in the training as soon as possible.”

Suicide linked to gambling has also been a hot topic in the Australian betting and gaming industry. Suicide Prevention Australia announced this week that ‘stricter regulation of the gambling sector is required across all Australian states’ to mitigate gambling-related damage, including suicidal thoughts.