FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dr. Richard Wood
Phone: + (1) 450-451-5924
CONTACT: Joanie Stevens-Schwenger
May 12, 2015 - Salem, Oregon
When you are struggling with a gambling problem, sometimes you just need someone to talk to.
Beginning this month, the Oregon Lottery is teaming up with GamTalk to provide a free online support service for Oregonians with gambling issues.
GamTalk is an “online community” that provides an opportunity for people to anonymously discuss their own gambling issues or their concerns about a friend or relative. It also provides an easy way to find out about local services for problem gamblers.
A non-profit organization developed by psychologist Dr. Richard Wood, GamTalk has been operating successfully in Canada since 2008. Partnering with the Oregon Lottery will be the first time a U.S. lottery has adopted this service.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Oregon Lottery and through it provide our service to Oregonians,” said Dr. Wood. “GamTalk provides a great way to start talking about gambling issues. It can be such a relief to discover that you are not the only person who is going through this. We have a fantastic community of people who share their stories and offer friendly advice and support to others.”
Assistant Lottery Director for Marketing and Retail Sales Stacy Shaw said, “The Oregon Lottery is committed to promoting responsible gambling and connecting problem gamblers with free help and treatment. A resource such as GamTalk is yet another way for gamblers to find services and support. We are making the service available on the Oregon Problem Gambling Resource website that we sponsor along with the Oregon Health Authority and gambling addiction service providers throughout the state.”
The anonymous nature of GamTalk makes it easier and less intimidating for people to discuss their gambling. Typically visitors to GamTalk start by reading about other peoples’ experiences and then talk about their own situation when they feel they are ready. It is an effective resource for people who can’t access support locally. It is also a helpful resource to use together with locally-provided services where available.
“We see that people are much more likely to seek local help when they have an opportunity to talk anonymously on GamTalk first,” added Dr. Wood.