Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use
Knowledge Exchange

Suicide Risk

Rates of suicide attempts are higher for people who gamble excessively, and for their family members. The people most likely to attempt suicide are those who also have an untreated or unresolved mental health problem (such as depression) or who use alcohol or other drugs. People who have threatened suicide or hurt themselves in the past are also more at risk.

If you feel suicidal or are making plans to end your life, get help right away. You don’t have to deal with your problems alone.

What to do if you feel suicidal

If you are thinking about ending your life:

  • Go to your local emergency department immediately, or if needed, dial 911
  • Remove any means for ending your life (e.g., firearms, medications)
  • Let your family or a friend know how you are feeling
  • Call the local Distress Centre for support and information
  • Let your doctor know what is going on
  • Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs—it will make matters worse
  • Contact the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (1 888 230-3505) and arrange to see a counsellor as soon as possible. You can usually be seen within days
  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend or spiritual advisor
What to do if a family member is suicidal

A family member may have thoughts of suicide if he or she:

  • Changes behaviour, appearance or mood
  • Seems depressed, sad or withdrawn
  • Gives away prized possessions
  • Talks about suicide and says he or she has a plan
  • Makes a will or talks about final wishes
If this happens, you should:
  • Take all suicide threats seriously
  • Stay calm and listen carefully
  • Let the person talk about his or her feelings
  • Accept what he or she says. Don’t pass judgment or try to solve the problem
  • Ask if the person feels suicidal and has a plan
  • Remove any means for self-harm (e.g., firearms, medications)
  • Support the person in getting professional help (e.g., crisis centre, counsellor, doctor, emergency room or clergy)
  • Let your doctor know what is going on
  • Not agree to keep the person’s suicidal thoughts a secret
  • Tell someone who can help
Self-Help for Family and Friends
Does someone you care about gamble too much? With these interactive excercises, learn why they gamble and what you can do to help.
Gambling Quiz
Answering these nine questions will help you understand if gambling is having a negative impact on your life.
Self-Help for Those who Gamble
Do you gamble? These interactive tools will help you explore, cut down or stop gambling.
Monitor Your Gambling & Urges
Use this tool to keep track of when you gamble, or feel the urge to gamble. Mobile App also available.
Introductory Video
View a short introductory video to learn more about the Self-Help Gambling Tools.