Since Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos opened, the number of problem gamblers in Ohio has doubled, according to the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio. To help combat the issue, the PGNO has launched a responsible gambling training series that helps mental health professionals treat addicted gamblers.
With Ohio sports betting apps set to launch on Jan. 1, the program is timely.
The Gambling Disorder Stages Training requires 30 hours of participation. At the end of the program, participants receive an endorsement that allows them to treat problem gamblers.
The series introduces a new specialization for mental health professionals who want to achieve state-recognized competency in treating patients suffering from gambling disorders. PGNO Program Manager Cory Brown talked about the program in a webinar.
“As gambling continues to expand, we know that more folks will be … exposed to gambling. And then by continuing to be exposed, we know that the participation in gambling will also rise. As participation rises … increased prevalence of problem and disorder gambling arises as well. So we need to have a competent and informed and trained workforce to be able to provide help to those who are impacted by the expansion of gambling. That includes, you know, those who develop issues with gambling and also their families.”
Program takes a comprehensive approach
The new program follows a three-stage schedule of training. Each stage deals with a different aspect of gambling:
- First stage: Covers gambling, problem gambling and Ohio’s gambling service system
- Second stage: Teaches approaches and applications of techniques to treat gambling disorders
- Third stage: Helps professionals understand the role of family and finances in problem gambling
What makes the program so interesting is that participants come away with a multi-level understanding of gambling in Ohio.
The course looks at gambling as an industry, including new trends, legislation and expansion. It also covers the various treatment approaches for problem gamblers and how to plan out treatments. The training also addresses financial management, the impact on families and how to involve them in a problem gambler’s recovery.
Once professionals complete the program, they can apply for a preliminary gambling endorsement. To stay current, professionals must complete 100 hours of “gambling disorder direct clinical experience” within two years.
Course facilitators include PGNO staff, Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board staff and a program-endorsed clinician.
How to sign up for training
Mental health professionals interested in treating gambling disorders can sign up for the program via the PGNO website.
The next available Stage 1 training is Aug. 24 through Aug. 26. Stage 2 training will be in late September. The next Stage 3 training is in late October.
Additionally, the PGNO will host a case presentation webinar in October. During this class, participants will learn about gambling treatments in the context of a clinical-treatment case. To sign up or for more information, call 614-750-9899 or contact the program director at [email protected]