Program for non-English speaking problem gamblers
SACRAMENTO - Problem gamblers in the Sacramento area who speak little or no English now have access to free interpreted counseling through a new pilot program offered by the California Office of Problem Gambling (OPG). The Problem Gambling Interpreted Treatment (PGIT) program offers problem gamblers and affected family members interpreted treatment in Spanish, Hmong, Russian, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Punjabi.
"Language and cultural barriers in the community have prevented some problem gamblers from getting effective treatment," said OPG Deputy Director Terri Sue Canale. "This new program will help to bridge those barriers."
OPG is partnering with Language World Services (LWS) to provide the new and innovative pilot treatment program, which was developed after reports from the California Problem Gambling Treatment Services Program (CPGTSP) and problem gambling helpline showed an insufficient number of bi-lingual Sacramento-area counselors. Last year, the helpline received 419 calls from non-English speaking callers who were searching for face-to-face treatment.
Limited or Non-English speaking clients should call 888-964-6763 and a telephonic interpreter will book an appointment with an authorized CPGTSP counselor in Sacramento. The counselor then calls LWS to book a face-to-face interpreter for the client. OPG provided online training to the interpreters regarding problem gambling and OPG's partners. Clients will receive eight free sessions of face-to-face treatment with an interpreter.
OPG also is working on an outreach plan that will include their partners, community organizations and LWS to increase awareness of the problem gambling interpretive treatment program. If you or someone you know in the Sacramento area is struggling with gambling and is limited or non-English speaking, please call 888-964-6763. For English-speaking assistance, call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Other multilingual resources for problem gamblers, their families and friends are available on the OPG website, www.problemgambling.ca.gov, including the "Freedom from Problem Gambling" workbook in 21 languages.
Funding for OPG's treatment program comes from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund, a state-controlled account appropriated by the Legislature for many public uses including gambling regulatory costs, local governments and revenue for non-gaming tribes. The allocated funding to OPG is for the development of problem gambling prevention and treatment services for California residents.