September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and to mark this occasion, Ohio for Responsible Gambling has highlighted certain risks in an effort to raise awareness.
Most notably, it emphasised a link between problem gambling and suicidal ideation. Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Prevention Chief at Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said: “There’s a strong connection between a person’s mental health and gambling activity.”
She continued: “For those living with gambling disorder, up to 38% will consider ending their lives.”
Meanwhile, Derek Longmeier, Executive Director of Ohio’s Problem Gambling Network, reiterated this concern.
He stressed the impact a gambling addiction can have on someone’s loved ones and close associates.
“The challenges of problem gambling and suicide go far beyond the person placing a bet,” he said. “Families, children, businesses and schools all feel the loss and pain that comes with a person’s gambling addiction.”
Longmeier went on to emphasise the importance of early detection. He said people should watch out for certain signs, such as anxious or agitated behaviour, extreme mood swings and a sudden decrease in work performance.
Other indicators that a person may have an addiction include lying or concealing how much time or money they spend gambling, as well as withdrawing or isolating themselves.
Ohio is set to launch sports betting on 1 January 2023 after the Buckeye State’s legislature passed House Bill 29 late last year.