As many as 17% of people who struggle with problem gambling demonstrate suicidal gestures, attempt, or complete suicide, with an additional 32% who experience suicidal ideation, according to a study published by the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
Although there are strong links between problem gambling and suicidal tendencies, there is hope. Free and low-cost treatment options are available for Nevadans struggling with problem gambling.
As an offering of the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Problem Gambling Services, Project Worth is the leading voice across the state representing the underserved population suffering from problems with gambling. Designed to connect Nevadans with free and low-cost treatment options, Project Worth is sharing vital information in honor of Suicide Prevention Month.
“Problem gambling is known as the ‘hidden’ dependency because it’s much less visible than a substance use disorder, but it can be so devastating to a person’s finances, family and long-term well-being,” said Alan Feldman, chair of the Advisory Committee of Problem Gambling. “We want Nevadans to know that if they struggle with any kind of gambling problem, there are treatment options available to help them. No one is alone on the road to recovery and everyone is worth it.”
In 2020, a study conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute found that more than 94% of people felt they were better able to control their lives after just 30 days of treatment.
“We acknowledge the high rate of people affected by gambling disorder considering suicide and wish to share our compassion with gamblers and their family members, ” said Denise Quirk, Founder and Clinical Director of the Reno Problem Gambling Center. “We invite those who may be hesitant about seeking help to know that treatment is effective in helping all people affected to get the needed understanding and tools to live their lives in wellness and peace.”
For those interested in seeking help for problem gambling, there are five state-funded treatment centers:
● Bristlecone Family Resources in Reno
● Reno Problem Gambling Center in Reno
● New Frontier Treatment Center in Fallon
● The Robert Hunter International Problem Gambling Center in Las Vegas
● Mental Health Counseling and Consulting in Las Vegas
● For Nevadans located in areas without a treatment center, all five centers offer telehealth care via confidential phone or video calls.
The Project Worth website also connects visitors to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, a local resource that provides people with information about gambling disorder, and to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s online chat service and 24-hour call or text helpline. Project Worth also directs users to Nevada 2-1-1, a site committed to helping Nevadans connect with the services they need.
Anyone experiencing an emergency can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
About Project Worth
Project Worth is part of the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Problem Gambling Services and uses the guidance of the Advisory Committee on Problem Gambling. This is a state-funded online tool designed to connect Nevadans to free and low-cost problem gambling treatment resources. Project Worth’s top priority is to encourage Nevadans to seek treatment for problem gambling to enhance the safety, health and welfare of all Nevadans. Project Worth is supported by the Nevada State Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Workorder 6570 from Revolving Account for the Prevention and Treatment of Problem Gambling. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Division. For more information about Project Worth, visit ProjectWorthNV.org.