One of the successful models for addressing problem gambling as a community health issue is the development of community partnerships. By joining forces with government, industry, education and others, state problem gambling councils are able to expand and improve the delivery of programs and services for problem gamblers and their families. Here are a few recent examples of successful community partnerships:
INPATIENT TREATMENT FOR WOMEN
The Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling recently received a grant from the Lancaster County Keno Foundation to develop and implement a women's-only outpatient treatment program in Lincoln, Neb. This program will be the first of its kind in the state and will provide treatment for 50 women with gambling problems. The Nebraska Council is partnering with the Nebraska Health and Human Services Gamblers Assistance Program and Choices gambling treatment center on the project.
MIDWEST CONFERENCE ON GAMBLING AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
The Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska councils recently received first-round approval for a $50,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to produce a two-day conference on problem gambling and substance abuse. The state of Iowa also is involved in the project. Government gambling and substance abuse agencies in all four states worked in cooperation with the three state councils to write the grant. The Midwest Conference on Gambling and Substance Abuse will be held Aug. 9-10 in Kansas City, Mo. Scheduled presenters include Bill Eadington, Joanna Franklin, Ken Winters, Bo Bernhard and Deborah Haskins.
FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY ADDRESSES PROBLEM GAMBLING
Nevada Federal Credit Union (NFCU), the largest credit union in the state of Nevada, has launched a new initiative to promote awareness of problem gambling among their employees, customers and the community. This initiative, undertaken in partnership with the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, will incorporate traditional communication methods, such as distribution of brochures and displaying help-line posters, as well as other methods specific to the financial services industry. The credit union's 80,000 members will now see the toll-free Problem Gamblers HelpLine number (1-800-522-4700) printed on their ATM receipts and quarterly account statements. A consumer guide titled "Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers" will be made available to credit union members in 20 branch offices throughout southern Nevada. NFCU also has implemented the Nevada Council's awareness training program, "When the Fun Stops-Understanding Problem Gambling," to educate all of its 250 employees. NFCU is the newest corporate member of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, and Michael Traficanti, the credit union's senior vice president of human resources, has been appointed to serve on the council's advisory board.