Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Problem Gambling Hot Line for New York State Residents

January 13, 2009

Dear Friends,

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York Council on Problem Gambling together are pleased to announce the launch of our enhanced, toll-free Helpline, effective Feb. 1, 2009. The new Helpline number is 1-877-8 HOPE NY.

Our enhanced Helpline will now offer assistance by masters-level clinicians from the Mental Health Association (MHA) of New York City, which has contracted with NYS OASAS. MHA has a long-standing history in providing quality services of this kind, including operation of the national SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the National Call Center for the 9/11 Fund, and American Red Cross 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Benefit Program.

The new line is also a consolidation of two former toll free lines: 800-437-1611 for problem gambling calls and 800-522-5353 for chemical dependence calls. The combined service has been expanded to provide crisis and motivational counseling for callers in need, as well as follow-up calls 48 hours later for those who wish to be contacted. Customers will be able to call the Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive customer-focused addiction crisis counseling, statewide referrals to services for problem gambling, alcoholism and substance abuse, and more information.

Many of you already support this service by promoting the Helpline and we deeply appreciate your ongoing efforts. We are asking for your continued assistance by changing your promotional materials on Feb. 1 to reflect the new Helpline number, 1-877-8 HOPE NY. We ask you to use and publicize this number as much as possible to help us strengthen our state’s service provision. OASAS will also implement a marketing initiative to support the new helpline number. Any calls made to the existing helpline numbers will be rolled over to the new call center for at least six months in order to allow for publications to be updated.

Here is suggested copy which you can use on your promotional materials:
Addiction Services Helpline
1-877-8 HOPE NY
Find help for Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, Problem Gambling

Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of the 2.5 million New Yorkers who are dealing with drug, alcohol and gambling addiction.

Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo James Maney
Commissioner, NYS Office of Alcoholism Executive Director, New York
and Substance Abuse Services Council on Problem Gambling

Michelle Hadden, LMSW, CPP-G
Prevention Specialist
NY Council on Problem Gambling
119 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12210

GCASA offers problem gambling services in both its Albion and Batavia clinics. You can call the Albion Clinic at 585- 589-0055 and the Batavia Clinic at 585-343-1124

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