The Samaritans have released their first gambling industry best practise guidance, which they are encouraging industry stakeholders to study and implement as quickly as possible.
To address the connection between gambling and suicide, the Samaritans have embarked on a project to better understand gambling as a risk factor for suicide and what can be done to avoid it.
The guidelines were developed in consultation with a broad range of relevant stakeholders, including people with lived experience, other charities, health and support providers, and others in the gambling industry, with the goal of complementing existing industry tools aimed at reducing the risk of gambling-related harms.
Strong suicide prevention strategy
How to provide a strong suicide prevention strategy to protect consumers and employees, how to use harm prevention to drive marketing messages, how to use data to help deter suicide, and how to interact sensitively with customers in distress are only a few of the recommendations.
Mubeen Bhutta, head of policy at Samaritans explained: “Suicide is preventable and we know different industries need to address specific challenges in order to have effective suicide prevention practices in place.
“clear association between gambling and suicide”
“With a clear association between gambling and suicide, identifying the changes needed in the gambling environment to prevent suicide is a vital part of our work. We’re proud to publish these industry guidelines and look forward to seeing all gambling businesses engage with them in a proactive effort to do more to prevent gambling-related suicide.
“Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. There is still much more that needs to be done within the wider gambling environment to reduce the risk of gambling-related harm, and to ensure that everyone can get the support they need.
“Operators following our guidelines is one positive step towards improving suicide prevention in the gambling industry and we will continue to push for action to help reduce gambling-related harms in the future.”
The Samaritans also say they’ve started setting industry standards against which gambling companies can be held accountable, and they’re asking all gambling companies to follow their guidelines as a minimum to show their commitment to suicide prevention.