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Samaritans publishes guidelines to help prevent gambling-related suicide

Samaritans has published its first best practice guidance for the gambling industry, in a bid to help gambling businesses prevent gambling-related suicide.

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It comes after recent research found a clear link between gambling and suicide, with people experiencing gambling-related harms more likely to also experience suicidal thoughts than the general population.

The group has “embarked on setting industry standards that gambling businesses can hold themselves to account,” with all gambling businesses urged to adopt the guidelines “as a minimum to demonstrate their commitment to suicide prevention.”

Mubeen Bhutta, head of policy at Samaritans, said: “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.”

Developed in consultation with a wide range of relevant stakeholders - including other charities and people with lived experience - recommendations include how to use data to help prevent suicide, how to communicate sensitively with distressed customers, and how to use harm prevention to guide marketing communications, among others.

“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,” added Bhutta.

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