Gambling: Suicide

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 27th July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Chadlington Lord Chadlington Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to commissioning research into gambling-related suicides to ensure that sufficient information is available about such deaths.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The charity GambleAware, which commissions research, education and treatment for problem gamblers, has established an expert steering group to help build a better shared understanding of gambling-related harms, chaired by the deputy chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), expert advisers to the Gambling Commission.

RGSB recently published a paper mapping out methodology that could be used to quantify and monitor the social and economic impact of gambling-related harms.The proposed model details nine metrics across three key areas (resources, health and relationships), including the number of suicides and suicide attempts. As part of this work it will look at what research needs to be done and the paper sets out an initial proposal for secondary analysis of key survey datasets, to help to give insight into the relationship between self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts and problem gambling.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also working with DCMS and other stakeholders to examine the issue of gambling-related suicide. Suicide prevention is a priority for Government and DHSC updated the National Suicide Prevention Strategy last year to strengthen its key areas for action.

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