As the pandemic turns endemic, MNAPG has had more opportunity to do in-person outreach. Here’s a look at some of the recent efforts undertaken by Sonja Mertz, MNAPG’s community educator, and Susan Sheridan Tucker, MNAPG’s executive director.
º February 2022: A virtual presentation for 20 staff members of the University of Minnesota Duluth Health Services, which included nursing, mental health and administrative staff members.
º March 2022: Susan was excited to present to Kevin Spading’s class on Problem Gambling. Kevin has been on the forefront of presenting at least some content on problem gambling to his students for years. This year marks his first full semester offering problem gambling.
º April 2022: A presentation at the Metro State University Recovery Conference that focused on gambling and college students. The presentation was well received.
With conferences beginning to return to their normal formats, we had the opportunity to exhibit at the Minnesota Social Services Association and the Minnesota Psychological Association conferences this spring. In an effort to reach less traditional audiences, MNAPG has also been exhibiting at more community-based events, including senior citizen health expos, the Minnesota Parent Teacher Association Conference, the Military Mental Health Conference at Camp Ripley, and the Minneapolis Community Connections Conference.
A Seat at the Table
In April, Sonja had the opportunity to join the Minnesota Suicide Prevention Taskforce, housed under the Department of Health. This will be our opportunity to bring awareness about the impact that suicide plays in problem gambling and to ensure that language about problem gambling and gambling disorder is included in strategic planning for the
2023-2027 Minnesota State Suicide Prevention Plan.
Susan was recently appointed to the Hennepin County Local Advisory Council on Adult Mental Health. This group has been meeting for over two decades and has provided the county with significant feedback and input on its mental health services. As Hennepin County continues to identify where the gaps are in mental health services, Susan is advocating for awareness about the prevalence of co-morbidity of gambling disorder and mental health issues.
MNAPG will continue to explore opportunities in which we can be a voice at the table and increase awareness of gambling disorder.
If you’d like to have MNAPG provide a presentation to a group or at a conference, please contact Sonja Mertz at firstname.lastname@example.org.