One of Samaritans’ priority issues this year is addressing and gaining a greater understanding of gambling related harm. In July, we announced that we are working with the Gambling Commission and the gambling charity GamCare to develop guidance for gambling operators on responsible action in response to suicide risks. This will strengthen the existing requirements on the gambling industry to identify those at risk and to take action to address and reduce harm.
We are also working to review the tools and resources available to operators around suicide prevention, with a view to establishing a toolkit that includes a training module for the industry that will sit within GamCare’s existing suite of resources. As a priority issue, we are also looking at undertaking more research on gambling related harm in order to be better informed on what needs to be done to protect and support people.
Separately to this, PPB (Paddy Power Betfair) selected Samaritans as their Charity of the Year in April after members of its head office staff chose to support us. As well as their dedicated fundraising for Samaritans until April 2020, we will be working with PPB to share our insight and expertise to inform their activity on reducing gambling harm and supporting vulnerable customers.
We will be supporting the development of existing PPB vulnerable customer training, and their Customer Activity & Awareness Programme which looks at interventions with at-risk customers which include self-exclusion policies.
Samaritans is also helping to improve the mental wellbeing of Paddy Power Betfair’s head office staff through our Wellbeing in the Workplace training and resources. These promote wellbeing, boost resilience and will equip their staff with the skills and confidence to support anyone in distress.
We believe our work in the gambling industry will contribute towards our vision of reducing the number of deaths by suicide, and will help Samaritans continue to deliver our vital service which provides support to anyone struggling to cope, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.