MDHHS hosting Problem Gambling Symposium March 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Feb. 19, 2019

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and to increase awareness of best practices and prevention and treatment services, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is hosting the 11th Annual Problem Gambling Symposium on March 1 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

The symposium will provide professional training, recovery stories and information on community resources. Titled, “Gambling…How Do You See It?”, the event will focus on the perception of gambling versus the reality and development of problem gambling.

Attendees will have the opportunity to experience a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting, attend workshops addressing the impact of gambling on various communities and learn about problem gambling treatment and prevention services offered statewide. This symposium is open to professional and recovering members of the problem gambling community, as well as anyone interested in learning more about this growing concern to Michigan residents.

While social gambling isn’t a problem for most, for those facing a gambling addiction, it provides a sense of control and escape which, over time, can affect other areas of life. To safeguard yourself or a loved one from problem gambling, MDHHS recommends:

  • Don't view gambling as a way to make money. Gambling should not be used as a way to supplement holiday spending.

  • Make gambling a social activity - don't gamble alone.

  • Don't wager more than you can afford to lose. Establish spending limits and stick to them.

  • If you find that you’re gambling to escape stress, consider an alternative form of entertainment such as a movie, dinner or sporting event.

If your gambling is getting out of control, call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-270-7117. The Helpline offers 24-hour support and calls are answered by trained, professional staff who work with a statewide network of qualified treatment providers and have access to community resources to which callers can be referred. All calls are confidential. Those who suspect their loved ones may have a problem with gambling are also encouraged to call the Helpline for support.

Online registration is available for the symposium. The cost to attend is $35.

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