5 Ways to Mind Your Mental Health During Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month
Published: September 4, 2023
September is a busy time of year, with back to school in full swing and fall right around the corner. It’s also both Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month. So that provides an opportunity to take stock of your mental health and see how your betting or gambling behaviors could potentially affect it.
While problem betting can have an impact on mental health, it’s also worth noting that not all who bet are at risk. Many people find responsible betting to be a fun form of entertainment while spending time with family or friends. But for others, moderating their betting can become difficult, which is when it can turn into problem betting.
And it can come with even more mental health-related outcomes later down the road. About 32 percent of people at risk for gambling or betting consider dying by suicide – a higher suicide ideation rate than any other group of people with addictions.
If you do choose to bet, there are ways to ensure you keep it responsible and, as a result, protect your mental health. Below are five ways to keep your betting fun and safe.
- Track your time. How much time do you spend betting? If you don’t know the answer, try setting time limits on how much you play – the results can be eye-opening. Along with tracking the time, remember to keep betting as a social activity and to engage in other non-gambling hobbies you enjoy.
- Mind your money. Every time you place a bet, you’re gambling away real money. To keep that in perspective, try to gamble only with money you’ve set aside for entertainment, never borrow money to play, and bet only what you can afford to lose.
- Enjoy the game. As much as betting can feel like an all-or-nothing effort, it’s ultimately just a game that’s left entirely up to chance. Remembering this helps you enjoy the activity for what it is and not get wrapped up in winning over everything else.
- Realize when to walk away. For most, gambling or betting is a fun activity. But when it starts to dominate your thoughts and time, that’s when it could be time to stop participating. Realizing when it starts to overflow into other areas of your life can help you decide when to walk away. Need help figuring it out? The free, two-minute quiz is a great way to get started.
- Get help if you need it. Ohio offers many free resources and assistance for those who might be at-risk with problem gambling.
For more information on your betting or gambling and to get access to various recovery resources, you can visit PauseBeforeYouPlay.org/get-help/. There’s everything from recovery groups like Gamblers Anonymous to self-banning programs available to anyone who needs them. You can also make the call to the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline. Trained and understanding specialists are standing by 24/7 to provide free and confidential support. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741.
Additionally, if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or any emotional health concerns, do not hesitate to call, text, or chat with the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Help is always available.