March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Minnesotans encouraged to ‘Have the Conversation’ about problem gambling 

MGN Online

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is encouraging Minnesotans to make use of its resources on problem gambling as they “Have the Conversation” this month.

Now in its 14th year, National Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. Its 2018 theme, “Have the Conversation,” attempts to bring this often-hidden addiction to light.

About two million U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, and another four to six million would be considered problem gamblers. Especially affected are college students; nearly six percent of college students in the U.S. have been estimated to have a serious gambling problem.

DHS’ Just Ask MN campaign works to raise awareness among these young people about the risks associated with gambling. Just Ask MN includes a website and social media outreach that connects this younger, at-risk demographic to educational resources and information about gambling activities, the consequences associated with risky gambling behavior, and how to better understand the signs of a problem in order to get help.

“No Judgement” is an ongoing DHS campaign that focuses on problem gambling education and intervention. The website offers resources for individuals and families affected by this issue. Individuals in need of help, as well as affected others, can also call the Minnesota gambling helpline at 1-800-333-HOPE or text HOPE to 61222.

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a national initiative spearheaded by the National Council on Problem Gambling. DHS’s participation is part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and reach out to those affected by problem gambling.

 

Problem gambling information and resources are available at:

 

—Information provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services