National gambling support charity GamCare has partnered with suicide prevention group Samaritans, to develop a new range of awareness raising training materials for betting and gaming operators.
The training tools will focus on developing awareness of gambling-related suicide and assist betting company staff with enhancing the skills and confidence needed to support at-risk customers.
GamCare also emphasised that 11% of problem gamblers who contacted the National Gambling Helpline in 2019 and 2020 told the charity that they were experiencing or had in the past experienced suicidal thoughts.
“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,” remarked Anna Hemmings, GamCare CEO.
“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.”
The partners will leverage each other’s respective experience in treating gambling-related harm and suicide prevention to identify potential changes within the industry and provide practical guidelines and training to gambling companies.
Notable initiatives will include free-of-charge e-learning and face-to-face training modules for all gambling industry staff, ranging from customer service teams to safer gambling and compliance divisions.
Resources will not only focus on raising greater awareness of gambling-related sucide, but also ensure betting operator staff can take care of their own wellbeing whilst working to support others.
Rachel Evans, Learning and Development Consultant at Samaritans, 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.”
Gambling related suicide has also become a topic of discussion within the Australian betting and gaming sector. Suicide Prevention Australia this week stated that ‘stricter regulation of the gambling sector is required across all Australian states’, in order to offset gambling related harm, including suicidal thoughts.