The Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive
Gambling is a non-profit 501 c (3) corporation and is the Mississippi affiliate
of the National Council on Problem Gambling. The Mississippi Council is funded
by contributions from the State of Mississippi, the gaming industry, and other
donations. The goal of the Council is to offer crisis intervention and referral
through our toll-free help line, provide education and training for health care
providers, increase public awareness within the state about the problems associated
with compulsive gambling, provide information about compulsive gambling to all
concerned individuals, conduct research in areas related to this problem, and
develop prevention and education programs for adolescents.
Our ongoing focus is helping the community respond
to those individuals and their families devastated by addictive gambling. If
you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call our toll-free help
line at 1-888-777-9696. All calls are strictly confidential.
In our efforts to assist compulsive gamblers and
their families, we have developed a certification process
for health care professionals who will be counseling these individuals. Following
the above link will take you to the certification criteria. Our model of certification
is based on accepted training and treatment procedures adopted by other states
and the National Council on Problem Gambling.
- Operates a 24-hour toll-free help line that has received 109,653 calls and helped 14,252 gamblers, their families and friends since its inception.
- Conducted 15th Annual Workshop on Compulsive Gambling in 2011. Over 630 counselors have been trained in gambling addiction since our inception; less than 12 trained prior to MCPCG.
- Conducted the first state prevalence study on problem and compulsive gambling in 1996.
- Developed and implemented counselor certification in gambling addiction. Twenty counselors have been certified in gambling addiction treatment.
- Developed youth brochure and booklet to help educate Mississippi’s youth about addiction dangers.
- Conducted First Annual Youth Conference in 1999 on adolescent gambling issues.
- Provided senior citizens groups with information on gambling addiction.
- Created gambling addiction training manuals for both levels of our training.
- Supplied posters and brochures with our help line number to casinos, bingo halls, community service and treatment centers throughout Mississippi.
- Developed television and radio public service announcements and each aired in statewide markets.
- Donated books on problem gambling on an annual basis to almost 400 middle schools, high schools, junior colleges and universities.
- Provided speakers to civic organizations and other groups.
- Maintain the MCPCG website which has received 1,420,682 hits registered since June 1998.
- Developed county referral resource directory for Mississippi.
- Developed Responsible Gaming Training Program for casino industry. Provide training to casino employees on an annual basis.
- Helped gamblers in receiving treatment for gambling addiction at local residential gambling treatment center.
TOLL-FREE 24-HOUR HELP LINE
The Mississippi Council operates a help line for problem and compulsive gamblers, which has received 109,653 calls and helped 14,252 gamblers, their families and friends since its inception. Over the past year we have noticed certain trends in the calls we have received for help. In an effort to learn more about compulsive gambling and those who suffer from this disorder, we have attempted to create a database of information from these calls. However, we recognize that some callers may be in such a state of crisis that the gathering of information is impossible.
In 2011 the help line received a total of 3085 calls, of which 631 were counseling calls. Seventy-seven percent of our callers are seeking help for themselves, while others are calling about their spouses (7%), relatives (9%), and friends (4%). The majority (61%) of the individuals experiencing problems with gambling fall between the ages of 26-64. Fifty-eight percent heard about our help line number through the casinos.
MCPCG refers compulsive gamblers and their families to 25 Gamblers Anonymous meetings; the 15 Regional Mental Health Centers; 21 Private Treatment Providers and 10 Consumer Credit Counseling Centers.
In 2008, the Council added a new component to our help line services. This component, Call to Change (C2C) Program, will provide additional support to our help line callers in taking the next step toward counseling and/or Gamblers Anonymous. The Call to Change (C2C) Program is a 6-week enhanced case management/relapse prevention program for problem gamblers consisting of phone sessions with a C2C counselor, weekly mailings and homework assignments.
- Training Workshop for Counselors
When the Mississippi Council (MCPCG) opened its offices in February 1996, there were less than one dozen counselors with any gambling addiction training in Mississippi. After only seven months, the Council held its first training in October 1996, during which 70 counselors received intensive training. In February 1997, the Council held its second two-day training course and this time an additional 100 counselors attended. Since then, the Council has conducted a bi-annual workshop in the fall. At this workshop counselors have the opportunity to earn 30 hours of gambling specific training toward becoming a certified compulsive gambling counselor.
The Council also conducts an annual workshop in the spring. Participants attending this workshop can learn about new and current problem gambling related issues. Both of these workshops have educated healthcare professionals about screening, assessing and treating problem gamblers.
- Training Manual
The MCPCG has divided the information presented in the intensive training sessions into two 15-hour domains. In order to ensure adequate training MCPCG offers training manuals to each participant.
MCPCG has established a Certification Board consisting of noted leaders in the healthcare industry. In its efforts to ensure the highest standards of treatment available, the Council has developed a stringent certification system. At this time, we have several clinicians in the process of becoming certified compulsive gambling counselors and twenty (20) who have received their certification.
- Responsible Gaming Training
The Council developed a Responsible Gaming Training Program designed to provide basic knowledge and increase awareness among casino employees about problem and compulsive gambling. The training includes facts about compulsive gamblers, profile of a compulsive gambler, signs of compulsive gambling in the workplace, types of gamblers and treatment options.
- Youth Education & Awareness
The Council published a booklet entitled “Mississippi’s Youth At Play” which is designed to educate Mississippi’s teens on the issues of problem gambling. With the current surge in today’s society, there is an elevated risk to our youth. This resource guide deals with the history of gambling, its effects on today’s youth and key issues regarding addiction and recovery. It was designed to be the groundwork for educating teens on the realities and consequences of gambling. The activities in this booklet are appropriate for upper elementary, middle school, junior high and high school students.
The Council also developed a youth brochure, “Too Young for a Gambling Problem? Don’t Bet On It”, which is targeted toward youth and is available upon request. The brochure includes the types of gambling activities, teen gambling warning signs and a list of questions to help determine if the teen may be having a problem.
Over the past ten years, the Council has donated a book each year about problem and compulsive gambling, to almost 400 middle schools, high schools, junior colleges and universities. The books were placed in their libraries to be used by students for research.
- Prevalence Study
During the fall of 1996, MCPCG contracted with Mississippi State University and nationally renowned researcher, Dr. Rachel Volberg, to conduct the first prevalence study on problem and probable pathological gambling in Mississippi.
This research is significant in that it finds that Mississippi has one of the highest rates of current problem and pathological gambling in the U.S. The study also found that Mississippians have the third highest lifetime problem gambling rate in the nation.
- Help Line Database
MCPCG developed a database for help line resources and a literature review on pathological gambling research and resources.
- Problem Gambling Awareness Video
The Council produced a video titled "All Bets Off". The video features recovering gamblers and treatment professionals sharing their knowledge and experiences about problem and compulsive gambling. The video gives one a basic understanding about compulsive gambling from people who treat compulsive gamblers, as well as from people who have suffered from this addiction. This video also serves as an added component to our Responsible Gaming Training program for the casino industry.
- Posters & Brochures
Upon request the Council provides posters and brochures that display our toll-free help line number to any organization. Posters and brochures are placed in casinos, treatment facilities, bingo halls and community service centers.
- Public Service Announcements
The Council produced four television public service announcements to educate families, youth, senior citizens, and the general public about gambling addiction. Grand Casinos, Inc. also donated a PSA targeting problem gamblers. All spots list our toll-free help line number. These spots have aired across the state in the local and cable markets.
A MCPCG radio public service announcement was also developed and sent to radio stations across the state.
- Community Public Service Programs
MCPCG board and staff have been guests on numerous radio and TV programs and contributors to numerous printed publications.
MCPCG has developed a database of contacts that enables the Council to provide vital gambling addiction information and newsletters to:
- Healthcare providers
- Mental Health practitioners
- Casino Vendors
- Government Agencies
- School Counselors
- Business & Industry
The MCPCG has had a presence on the Internet nine years and has received a total of 1,420,682 hits. In 2011, we received 165, 944 hits. Our website is updated frequently and can be found at: www.msgambler.org. The Council’s e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on the web site includes:
of Board of Directors
of Healthcare Providers
of Affiliate Councils
- A referral resource book was developed for our staff and counselors to refer people with gambling problems to the appropriate resources in their community. Resource information that MCPCG currently maintains in its book includes: