Special Recognition to Roger Svendsen
Each year at the Minnesota Conference on Problem Gambling, the leaders of the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance present the annual Outstanding Service Award to someone who has shown special dedication to helping problem gamblers and their families. Roger Svendsen, this year’s recipient, is well known in the state of Minnesota and nationally for his long-term work in the area of prevention and education around alcohol and other drugs, tobacco and gambling. Roger was part of the original team that developed and operated the Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline during his years with the Minnesota Institute of Public Health. Roger served MIPH (now the Invitation Health Institute) and was the director of the Problem Gambling Resource Center. He served on the board of the National Council on Problem Gambling, been a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on problem gambling, and served as director of the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance for two years. Roger co-authored several publications related to gambling, and has taught addiction courses as a community faculty member at Metro State University and Century College in Minnesota. Roger is a most deserving recipient and we congratulate him and thank him for his dedication and superb efforts.
Co-Existing Disorders from Project Turnabout/Vanguard
The clinical team from Project Turnabout/Vanguard, the only residential treatment program for problem gamblers in Minnesota, presented a multi-discipline approach to the treatment of problem gambling. The panel included Sandi Brustuen, NCGC II, LADC, director of the Vanguard program; Sheryl Anderson, NCGC, LADC, problem gambling counselor; Jennifer Briest, MSW, LGSW, CGC, Vanguard’s clinical social worker; and Marti Paulson-Strommen, ICARN, director of Healthcare and Intake Services. As a residential program, Vanguard sees the most complex gambling addiction cases. The frequency of co-existing disorders in this population makes a multi-discipline approach imperative. The team discussed cases from recent patients who presented with multiple issues such as gambling and depression, gambling and ADD, and gambling and PTSD. To learn more about the Vanguard program, visit their website. A copy of the Vanguard PowerPoint presentation can be obtained here.
Self Help from the Minnesota Consumer Survivor Network
Rachel Voller, director of the Minnesota Consumer Survivor Network, a nonprofit agency run entirely by people who have experienced psychiatric disorders, provided insight into self-help techniques. She presented on the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) a nationally recognized tool that promotes health and wellness. WRAP focuses on prevention and recovery and educates people on how to take control of their own lives by using a variety of self-help techniques including accessing the support of a network of family, friends and health care providers. The WRAP program can be effective for anyone struggling with emotional and behavioral issues and serves as a self-help plan for addicts and anyone seeking overall wellness and recovery. A copy of Rachel’s PowerPoint can be obtained here.
Advocacy from Messerli & Kramer and Minnesota Recovery Connection
Attorney John Apitz, JD, from the law firm Messerli & Kramer teamed up with Minnesota Recovery Connection executive director Nell Hurley to discuss advocacy and how to effectively reach Minnesota legislators. John is a full-time lobbyist for a variety of organizations and volunteers his time to help and guide the Northstar legislative agenda. Minnesota Recovery Connection advocates for addiction resources and organizes the annual “Recovery Day on the Hill.”
Research – Adult Gambling from S&S Training and Consulting and Invitation Health Institute
Older adults are frequent gamblers and vulnerable to problem gambling due to a variety of factors, including dealing with loss, loneliness, and having unstructured time. Roger Svendsen MS, CPPR of S&S Training and Consulting teamed up with Kevin Spading LCSW, LADC, CPP of the Invitation Health Institute (formerly the Minnesota Institute of Public Health), to look at the risk factors for problem gambling in older adults and how prevention approaches can be implemented with this population. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be obtained here.
Research – Youth Gambling
Youth are also recognized as a high risk group for problem gambling. Randy Stinchfield, PhD, LP, associate director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical school, has worked closely with Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance to identify and track gambling trends and activities from the Minnesota Student Survey. Dr. Stinchfield presented the most recent data and compared trends over the years. A copy of Randy’s PowerPoint can be obtained here.
Treatment – Recovery Coaching with Nell Hurley and Jim Wuelfing
Nell Hurley and Jim Wuelfing teamed up for a how-to session on recovery coaching, its design, development and practice. This session looked at the requirements for effective recovery coaching for problem gamblers. To learn more about recovery coaching visit www. recoverycoaching.org or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.
Treatment – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Nita Kordenowy
Problem gamblers often look for help or seek treatment when the emotional and mental suffering caused by circumstances and consequences of their gambling become unbearable. Nita Kordonowy, LADC, NCGCII discussed acceptance and commitment therapy, a type of therapy that is not focused on symptom reduction but rather on helping the client learn and use the six core principles of ACT. They are: developing psychological flexibility, diffusion, acceptance, contact with the present moment, observing self and committed action. Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.