According to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s 2018-2019 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine report, 23% of problem gamblers and loved ones reported having suicidal ideations. That’s more than one out of every five help callers. September has been recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month, and gambling addiction is a risk factor. Gambling addiction does not discriminate and neither does suicidal ideation. It’s best to know the warning signs and risk factors to be proactive in helping yourself or others that may be afflicted. And there’s no better time to educate yourself than now.
Let’s Talk and Save Lives
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, is a national network of local crisis centers that offers free and confidential support to those in need. There are steps that can be taken to communicate with someone who may need help. Studies have shown that having a discussion is beneficial to reducing suicidal thoughts . Therefore, the first step is to ask someone about what they are thinking and listen to their response. It’s important to follow through with these steps and keep someone with these types of thoughts safe by reducing their access to anything they could use to harm themselves. Being there for someone with suicidal thoughts is the next step in the process and is managed simply by being present in their lives and helping them feel connected to others. This can also be done by sharing resources to help them, for example, if the problem is a gambling addiction, you should provide Florida’s 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine number.
Don’t forget to follow up with this person you’ve been helping. It’s been proven that this stage in the process can seriously reduce the number of suicides , especially if support services like the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine or other crisis interventions are offered and utilized. Suicidal ideation is something with which many struggle. Nobody should be left alone to struggle with these thoughts. There is help available. You could #BeThe1To help save a life today.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts due to a gambling addiction, there is help available. Florida’s Problem Gambling HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848), is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s confidential and multilingual, and it could help save a life.
 #BeThe1To. (2019). How The 5 Steps Can Help Someone Who is Suicidal – #BeThe1To. [online] Available at: https://www.bethe1to.com/bethe1to-steps-evidence/ [Accessed 9 Sep. 2019].