- A national strategy for police and coroners to have access to a ‘gambling data vault’ to pick up gambling related deaths and identify the true extent of gambling-related suicides.
- For gambling related suicides to be reported annually in Parliament, which means that every state coroner needs a unit investigating gambling related suicides.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray said, “We know that gambling harms are often invisible. Unfortunately, protective factors for suicide, such as social and financial supports are compromised by the financial harms of gambling. This often leaves people vulnerable to risk factors of suicide.”
Ms Murray said the research provided critical insights into gambling-related deaths by suicide in Australia, shining a light on an often- silent suicide risk. The research was funded by the National Suicide Prevention Research Fund and Suicide Prevention Australia manages the fund on behalf of the Federal Government.
“Financial counsellors and others working at the grassroots know that across Australia people are taking their lives directly because of gambling,” she said.
“We see it in the case work, it is as plain and simple as that. People come in for help and disclose that they are considering suicide because of the impact of their gambling. It is not all about the money or even debt, but often it is about loss of control, about gambling taking over a person’s headspace every hour of the day.”
Ms Levin said families were grieving, often not knowing the role that gambling had played because the financial data is missing from the police and coroners’ reports.
“Not only are gambling related suicides happening, but the attempted suicides are also a marker of harm, and attempts are not being counted,” she said.
To get help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.
Help to report about suicide safely is available online: Go to https://mindframe.org.au/
The Alliance is the only national peak body working to reduce gambling harm. We have over 60 supporting organisations in our network and 23 leadership local councils in Victoria who have an interest in reducing the exponential level of gambling harm in Australia. We are a registered health promotion charity and are 100% funded by donations from individuals, foundations, trusts, local government and other sources that do not have ties to the gambling industry. We are not affiliated with any political party
The Alliance for Gambling Reform has long advocated for public health reforms that are evidence-based and community-backed with the sole purpose of reducing and preventing gambling harm in Australia. Online gambling is increasingly becoming one of the biggest health issues we are facing as a country.
Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704