March Is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month
The Minnesota Department of Human Services is raising awareness of serious gambling addiction in young people. According to the department, nearly six percent of college students in the U-S has a gambling problem.
Approximately 6.2 million people in the United States experience problem gambling and 3.4 million individuals warrant a gambling disorder diagnosis, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.
During March, Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the Minnesota DHS is highlighting its new Just Ask MN campaign to raise awareness among young people about the risks associated with gambling. 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 of problem gambling and reach out to those affected.
“The effects of a gambling disorder are not only economic, they can lead to damaged relationships and high rates of substance abuse, depression and suicide,” said DHS Assistant Commissioner Claire Wilson, in a press release. “We want to make sure that young people understand gambling can mean more than just winning or losing a few dollars – it can affect their lives for a long time.”
Just Ask MN includes a website (justaskmn.org) 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.
In addition to the new Just Ask MN for college-age individuals, DHS’ ongoing problem gambling campaign, “No Judgement,” focuses on problem gambling education and intervention. The campaign website, getgamplinghelp.com, offers resources for individuals and families affected by this issue.
The No Judgement awareness campaign includes digital and traditional marketing and advertising efforts, including: Pandora radio advertising, digital advertising, gas station pump toppers and flyers, bar and restaurant posters, and indoor sports stadium advertising. All efforts encourage individuals in need of help as well as affected others to engage in a conversation by calling the Minnesota gambling helpline (1-800-333-HOPE) or texting HOPE to 61222.