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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The Connection Between Problem Gambling & Suicide

The relationship between gambling and suicide is now more apparent than ever. Gamblers who report high-risk gambling behaviors are at increased risk of suicide. They can feel alone and their distress isn’t obvious. Suicidal ideation may be viewed as a way of escaping life in turmoil or a perceived world that is destroyed.

Did you know?

Nearly 50% of people struggling with problems due to gambling/gambling addiction have had thoughts of suicide.

Supporting someone who is feeling in distress and/or has thoughts of suicide: The five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal are supported by evidence in the field of suicide prevention.

ASK – Asking the question “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates that you’re open to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way.

BE THERE – Being there for someone with thoughts of suicide is life-saving. Increasing someone’s connectedness to others and limiting their isolation (both in the short and long-term) has shown to be a protective factor against suicide.

KEEP THEM SAFE – If they have immediate access to a firearm and are very serious about attempting suicide, then extra steps (like calling for emergency help or driving them to an emergency department) might be necessary.

HELP THEM FEEL CONNECTED – Helping someone with thoughts of suicide connect with ongoing supports (like the 988 Lifeline) can help them establish a safety net for those moments they find themselves in a crisis and reduce feelings of hopelessness.

FOLLOW UP –  After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow-up with them to see how they’re doing. Leave a message, send a text, or give them a call.

To find out more go to https://www.bethe1to.com/ and help make a difference in a person who needs help.

  • Suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death in the US
  • Since its establishment in 2005, Lifeline has received over 23 million calls
  • 22% of the 43,000 Maryland callers to Lifeline were Veterans
  • Maryland Lifeline calls have increased 69% Since 2016
  • Each call to 988 Lifeline instead of 911 can save thousands of dollars to taxpayers
  • 90% of Lifeline callers report that a follow up call kept them safe
  • Loss – financial, self-esteem, valuable relationships, job
  • Coping with mental health and/or substance abuse issues
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness

Peer Recovery Support

KNOW THAT… You are not alone – There is Hope.

Getting your life back on the road to recovery from harmful gambling behaviors and creating a life of health and wellness is a journey that requires time and energy.  Relapses are not uncommon, feelings of hopelessness may return and become overwhelming.  But you are not alone.

KNOW THAT… Recovery is possible.

A Peer Recovery Support Specialist can provide an additional level of support as they have lived experience in addiction and have walked a similar path.  A Peer will be there, listening and supporting you every step of the way to limit, control or stop your gambling behavior. A Peer will help you feel Safe & connected to the resources you need including “no cost” treatment. A Peer will follow up with you and support you on your recovery journey.

September is also National Recovery MonthThis month start on the road to recovery with the help of a Peer Recovery Support Specialist. Peer Recovery Support for problem gambling/gambling addiction helps widen the doorways of entry into treatment and recovery: CLICK HERE to learn more and get valuable resources.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, help is available. Call or text now to talk to a trained professional.

Helpline is FREE & Confidential. Call or Text 1-800-426-2537. Available 24/7.