Although casinos can contribute to community well-being by providing funds to improve infrastructure, they can also increase problem gambling and related negative health and mental health impacts. Many communities are not aware of the potential harms of problem gambling, and there are few systems to support them in preventing and addressing these issues.
Led by EDC, the Massachusetts Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling Prevention (MCOEPGP) provides technical assistance to communities seeking to prevent problem gambling and related issues. MCOE’s approach requires using an equity lens to examine the social and economic conditions that make communities healthy. MCOE’s priorities include building the knowledge and capacity of community health workers (CHWs) to address problem gambling prevention and the implementation of prevention programs.
The project is carrying out the following activities:
- Use peer-to-peer learning to provide training and ongoing capacity building to substance use recovery organizations participating in the Massachusetts Ambassador Project
- Provide training and ongoing capacity building to youth-serving organizations participating in the Massachusetts Photovoice Project
- Develop a model for the CHW Pilot Program, train participating organizations, and develop a technical assistance structure that supports ongoing peer learning
- Develop a series of trainings that help organizations understand and address health equity issues
- Create a centralized depository to share resources and educate and inform communities about health issues that disproportionately impact communities with the greatest disparities