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Suicide: Gambling

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 82541, tabled on 28 August 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of gambling-related suicides.

Answered on

10 September 2020

We have made no such assessment. There is currently no reliable estimate of the number of suicides linked to problem gambling in the United Kingdom, and there would be significant challenges in attempting to record this. Requiring coroners to routinely assess the motivation in all cases of suicide would take the coroner role fundamentally beyond its legal parameters.

We know that there may be wider lifestyle factors associated with gambling addiction that may link to poor mental health, and that gambling addiction can create a cycle of debt that can also have a significant impact on mental health and wellbeing. In extreme cases it may lead to thoughts of suicide.

The Government committed to addressing suicide risk and gambling in the latest progress report to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which were published in January 2019