NCDHHS kicks off problem gambling treatment program

July 9, 2024
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Clients can receive virtual counseling and other problem gambling treatment resources in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) Problem Gambling Program, along with ECU’s Gambling Research and Policy Initiative (GRPI) and Birches Health, have teamed up to offer gambling disorder resources and treatment options to state players.

Those seeking assistance for problem gambling issues can reach out and gain access to the program through the North Carolina Gambling Hotline.

NCDHHS Problem Gambling Administrator Amanda Winters commented, “We are excited to support our partners at the GRPI and Birches Health in their work launching a first-of-its-kind problem gambling metrics-based telehealth treatment pilot program.

“These initiatives are crucial to ensuring that North Carolina residents have access to the highest quality treatment and services.”

Birches Health will offer care services through the collaboration. Clients can receive specialized virtual therapy from licensed providers.

Birches Health Founder and CEO Elliott Rapaport expressed the group’s eagerness to team up on this initiative by saying, “We are proud to support the groundbreaking research done by the GRPI in direct partnership with NC Department of Health and Human Services Problem Gambling Program.

“We believe this initiative will inform best-in-class gambling disorder treatment and help steer clinical outcomes for programs nationally to ensure the reduction of gambling-related harms.”

GRPI’s role will be to conduct research regarding specialized counseling and to see if services should be tailored based on different identities and “comorbid issues individuals may be facing in addition to gambling-related harms.”

GRPI Director Dr. Michelle Malkin said, “The more providers can identify the types of support different clients need based on a whole person approach, the better results we can have to getting clients to stay in recovery and reduce potential negative outcomes, such as the high suicide rate among those with gambling disorder.”

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