Family and friends support

Gambling with Lives supports families and friends bereaved by a suicide directly caused or influenced by gambling.

The societal narratives around gambling as a normal, harm-free activity can make those bereaved feel isolated and lost.

Founded by families bereaved by gambling, we understand the devastation gambling can cause and the traumatic impact of learning about what happened to the person you loved.

We offer the following types of support.

Bereavement support

A loss of this kind is particularly traumatic and complex. Families can face many challenges and can feel isolated, uncertain of what to do or who to turn to.

GwL has experience supporting, advocating, and seeking specialist advice on behalf of those bereaved. We offer practical and emotional support as you try to piece together what has happened.

We offer:

  • Practical guidance and support with probate, financial matters, and the inquest 
  • Emotional and therapeutic support and a safe space to grieve  
  • Help with communicating the loss (such as talking to a child, colleagues, or friends)

A memory board from a memorial event for Chrs Bruney.
A memory board from a memorial event for Chris Bruney.

Investigation support

When families become aware of the role gambling played in a death, it can raise many questions. How much did they gamble? How did I not know? Why was nothing done?

We can help gather information and offer support to answer some of these questions. These answers can be important after a suicide and may also be used to investigate wrongdoing and learn lessons to protect others.

We offer:

  • Analysis of banking and gambling data and support through this process
  • Support through inquests and accessing legal representation
  • Support to raise concerns with the gambling regulator or other government/public bodies

Community support

Connecting with people who have all experienced the same terrible event in their lives can offer support and understanding not found anywhere else.

We host online forums, in-person events and regular updates on GwL’s work. The GwL community can help you feel supported, listened to and that you are not alone.

You can:

  • Access resources, support and information
  • Attend events to meet and be supported by others bereaved
  • Attend or organise events to remember loved ones or raise awareness
Families at a GwL event.

Campaigning for change

GwL has worked hard to change the narrative around gambling and gambling addiction to reduce stigma, increase awareness of the risks and improve political, regulatory and health policy and prevent suicides. But there is still work to do. 

Some families wish to share their experience and concerns. This could be attending events or being at meetings with MPs, ministers, or regulators. Some families have chosen to engage with the media to increase awareness and this is something we can offer support and advice for.

This can involve:

  • Attending events and meetings with government and public departments
  • Contributing to media moments and campaigns by sharing experiences
  • Contributing to research and activities that improve knowledge, understanding and could save lives.

Practical, community and therapeutic support is available to all, regardless of whether you choose to participate in GwL’s campaigning activities. 

Therapeutic support

Losing a loved one to suicide is likely to result in a huge range of emotions. The shocking and emotionally complex nature of suicide can result in the normal grieving process being disrupted, and lead to symptoms such as depression, anxiety or trauma.   

If this happens, it is important to seek professional support. GwL can work with you to identify the right support, arrange a therapist or practitioner, and liaise with your local healthcare provider.   

We offer: 

  • Holistic assessment of emotional support needs
  • Support to find and engage with the right support or intervention
  • Where the right therapeutic support is unavailable through the NHS or other means, GwL works to facilitate this, free of charge

Get help

If you or someone you know has been bereaved by a gambling-related suicide, we are here to support. Please get in touch using this form.

Alternatively, if you are an organisation looking to refer an individual or family, please use this form.

Our small, expert team aims to respond to all enquiries within two working days.  

Support available from other organisations can be found in the Family and Friends section of our Help page here.

All the specialist help we offer is free of charge, independent of gambling industry influence and is not time limited.  

Crisis support and in an emergency

If you are in distress, you can call the Samaritans 24hrs, 7 days a week on 116 123.

If you are concerned about your mental health or feeling suicidal please contact your GP or 111 for support. If you are immanently concerned about your safety and in crisis call 999 or attend A&E.