1.800.gambler and we know the feeling.org
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM)!
IDHS/SUPR, in collaboration with the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling (ICPG) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), is dedicating March to bringing awareness to the gambling disorder and directing people to the help they need. PGAM is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. Across Illinois, organizations will be sponsoring community events, holding screening and trainings days and running media campaigns to ensure that problem gambling services are widely available and accessible. For a current list of events, please go to: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=117443. The Chicago Skyline will be lit orange during the week of March 1-7 to honor all those who struggle with gambling disorder and bring awareness to the impact of gambling on communities. If you would like someone to present on gambling to your organization, please contact our Statewide Gambling Coordinator, Kellie Gage, at Kellie.Gage@illinois.gov. The South Suburban Council is more than happy to offer education to our communities as it pertains to Gambling Disorders. 708.647.3333
For Immediate Release
March 5, 2021
IDHS Recognizes March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month
The city skyline will be lit orange and events will be held across the state to raise awareness for
gambling disorder and celebrate recovery in Illinois
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is raising awareness for gambling
disorder and partnering with providers across the state to recognize March as Problem Gambling
Awareness Month. In addition, Governor JB Pritzker proclaimed March to be Problem Gambling
Awareness Month in Illinois.
This year IDHS and gambling disorder providers are hosting events in the city of Chicago and
throughout the state. The purpose of the month is to increase awareness and understanding of
problem gambling and celebrate the people who recover. Awareness events will include gambling
screenings on March 10th for National Screening Day, gambling presentations and open houses,
workshops, and other public events. A full list of Recovery Month events can be found on the IDHS
website. Buildings in the city of Chicago will also be lit orange from March 1-7 to raise awareness.
“Our goal for Problem Gambling Awareness Month is to increase the understanding of problem
gambling and let individuals know that “We Know the Feeling” through our hotline at 1-800-
GAMBLER and website at WeKnowTheFeeling.org,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “Individuals
who struggle with gambling disorders seldom seek help and often hide their behavior from family
members. This month is an opportunity for IDHS and our providers to come together and continue
to get the word out about the recovery support services that are available to them. We would like
to thank our community partners for hosting events this month, and the Building Owners and
Managers Association of Chicago for lighting their buildings up orange to raise awareness.”
Gambling legislation recently passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pritzker has
allowed the IDHS Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) to increase the funding
for new treatment resources, prevention, and outreach this year by approximately five times the
amount that was approved last year. SUPR has increased the number of organizations that have
gambling programs by 43%.
SUPR has also been working with the gambling providers to expand outreach and increase
awareness about the problems that gambling can cause, the services that are available and the local
organizations who provide them. This month, Illinois will be launching a gambling awareness
campaign that will include billboards, a targeted pay-per-click strategy, as well as radio and TV ads.
SUPR has also helped providers to prepare for an increase in problem gamblers coming in for
treatment. To date, there have been over 100 practitioners trained to provide gambling disorder
treatment services in Illinois. This year SUPR will also be hosting five additional trainings for 175
practitioners in different four regions of the state.
To learn more about gambling disorders, please visit WeKnowTheFeeling.org. If you or a loved one
is struggling with gambling disorder, call 1-800-GAMBLER or text ILGAMB to 53342.
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