The charity Samaritans is offering gambling companies in the UK guidelines and steps on how to prevent suicide. 

To create this guidance, the Samaritans conducted research alongside various individuals with related personal experience, in addition to stakeholders and health professionals. 

The guidance is the Samaritans’ first of its kind for the gambling industry. 

“Suicide is preventable” 

Commenting on its new guidelines, Samaritans Head of Policy Mubeen Bhutta said the following. 

 “Suicide is preventable and we know different industries need to address specific challenges in order to have effective suicide prevention practices in place. 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.”

What is included in the Samaritans’ guidelines? 

The Samaritans’ guidance for gambling businesses covers a range of areas. It was designed to help companies better understand their data in a way that could stop people from taking their own lives. 

Samaritans’ guidelines also aim to help companies improve their marketing and advertising in a more responsible manner. Moreover, the guidelines include how to communicate in a more sensitive manner when reaching out to people. 

The guidance was also designed to ensure the safeguarding of both staff and customers. 

Gambling harm prevention initiatives established 

In the midst of the 2005 Gambling Act review, responsible gambling and preventing related harms is a big talking point at the moment. Towards the end of last month, UK gambling charity GambleAware revealed its own plans to tackle the issue. 

GambleAware has outlined a five-year plan in which it aims to stop as many people as possible from suffering gambling-related harms. This is formed of four core objectives. 

The key goals related to the charity’s strategy are: 

  • Develop awareness and an understanding of gambling-related harms;
  • Increase access to treatment services; 
  • Improve the effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service; 
  • Raise the capacity of said institution. 

At the time, GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond said: 

“Over the next five years, we will work to build the accessibility and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service and ensure it is recognised as a strong coalition of treatment services and prevention activities, delivered in collaboration with the NHS and others. 

“By 2026, we hope to have made significant progress towards our vision, but also want to ensure these programmes will continue to be sustained beyond the five-year term of this strategy.”