This Problem Gambling Awareness month, we are proud to announce that VOA Oregon Prevention Services is a recent recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund!
Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is a grassroot campaign started by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to increase public awareness of problem gambling and prevention, treatment & recovery services.
Problem Gambling can affect people of any age, gender, religion, social status, or education and can be a serious mental health condition. And yet, there is no Federal funding for prevention, recovery, or treatment for this addiction.
“We do receive funding for Problem Gambling Prevention but it’s bare bones and as a result we do not get to participate in a lot of training opportunities,” says Anna Bledsoe, Coordinator of Prevention Services. Because of the lack of Federal assistance, this issue is not something Prevention Services has been able to support on a large scale.
This grant allows for a more robust ability to respond to Problem Gambling in our communities. Both Prevention and Treatment staff will be able to participate in trainings, Prevention Services will have the opportunity to participate in the NCPG Annual Conference, and other opportunities for licensing around Problem Gambling Awareness have become more accessible with this extra funding.
Problem Gambling is not a problem on the forefront of many people’s minds. Anna says, “That’s always been the issue but throw a pandemic on top of that and nobody cares about Problem Gambling. It makes it hard to get into the schools and in front of community partners to have these conversations.”
Anna and her team have found creative ways to spread Problem Gambling awareness through free “swag” and educational materials disseminated at events. Alongside training and conference opportunities, the grant money will be used to fund flyers, paper newsletters, branded materials, and other items meant to educate and start the conversation around Problem Gambling.
We are excited for the opportunities this grant will provide for Problem Gambling services at VOA Oregon and our communities as a whole!