Specialist educates people about problem gambling

7/10/2013

The following column ran back in November. Data at the end of this segment shows that treatment is successful.

The following column ran back in November. Data at the end of this segment shows that treatment is successful.

My name is Juan Baez and I serve as problem gambling specialist for southwest Kansas. I work in the Division of Behavioral Health Services for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. I am one of three problem gambling specialists across the state. My primary job is to educate Kansans about problem gambling and about the resources that are available to them, such as the problem gambling helpline and the availability of free treatment for problem gamblers and concerned others.

These educational efforts are designed to help individuals make informed decisions about their gambling choices. If any community group or agency is interested, I will be happy to schedule a presentation about problem gambling.

Another part of my job is to work in conjunction with the Southwest Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force and the Finney County Health Coalition to bring problem gambling awareness to the community through multiple avenues. Our outreach includes radio, print and television advertisements about the problem gambling helpline and the no-cost treatment services. Brochures, posters, videos and books are also available. These services are funded through revenues generated by the three state-owned casinos.

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, please call the problem gambling helpline at this toll-free number: (800) 522-4700.

The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An experienced counselor will offer callers immediate assistance and, if necessary, refer them to a Kansas certified gambling counselor in their area. Translation services are available in any language.

If you would like additional information about problem gambling, or if you would like to become involved in our efforts to address this problem through our task force or health coalition, please call me at (620) 227-8508, ext. 249, or email me at Juan.Baez@kdads.ks.gov.

Problem gambling? Treatment works:

* Clients were less likely to say that they had gambled in the past 30 days. (94 percent at intake vs. 13 percent at discharge.)

* Clients were more likely to have enrolled in the casino self-exclusion program. (18 percent at intake vs. 50 percent at discharge.)

* Clients were less likely to say that their gambling had often gotten them in trouble in the past 30 days. (65 percent at intake vs. 6 percent at discharge.)

* Clients were less likely to say they were often preoccupied with urges to gamble in the past 30 days. (41 percent at intake vs. 6 percent at discharge.)

Based on discharge data from ValueOptions Kansas.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to the volunteers from Sunrisers Kiwanis, Marissa Kleysteuber and family, Jamie Hitchcock and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week. Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. A domino tournament starts at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday has duplicate bridge at 2 p.m.

Monday begins with double pinochle at 12:30 p.m. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has walking at 8:30 a.m. at Stevens Park. USDA commodities will be distributed beginning at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises are at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.

July 17 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. Legal aid is offered at 10 a.m. Appointments must be made by calling 272-3620. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. Completely Unraveled meets at 1 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring "The Blue Notes" begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Barbecue on a bun, potato salad, creamy coleslaw, cookie.

Friday: Roast pork, sweet potatoes, Italian vegetables, frosted lime gelatin, wheat roll.

Monday: Salisbury steak, pasta salad and vegetables, tossed salad, peaches, wheat bread.

Tuesday: Hamburger on bun, baked beans, deli fixins, blueberry dessert.

July 17: Pepper steak, rice, cucumber and onions in sour cream, angel food cake with strawberries, wheat bread.

Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.

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