The Maryland Council on Problem Gambling (MCPG) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation. Its mission focuses on 3 A’s: Advocacy, Awareness, and Assistance. The primary mission of MCPG is one of advocacy for those affected by gambling problems, working to increase public awareness about problem gambling, and advocate for assistance in the areas of treatment, education, prevention, and research for those adversely affected by gambling and for the community at large. The MCPG contracts with the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling to administer the 1-800 Confidential Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER). MCPG provides the following assistance: meeting individuals, families, and communities where they are to help them access treatment, peer support, information, education, and research; providing assistance to health professionals, clergy/faith leaders and laypersons, and other stakeholders to increase their understanding of problem gambling and supporting the community.
The MCPG is guided by the following values:
·Advocacy: influencing decisions within political, economic, social systems and institutions for those affected by gambling problems
·Awareness: increasing public awareness about problem gambling and helping to minimize the negative effects of gambling, prevention of problem gambling, and educating individuals, families, and communities for wellness opportunities
·Assistance: meeting individuals, families, and communities where they are to help them access treatment, peer support, information, education. and research; providing assistance to health professionals to increase their understanding of problem gambling and supporting the community
·“Meeting persons where they are!” Focusing on grass-roots partnerships and relationship building to provide access to advocacy, awareness, and assistance to communities, especially “forgotten and neglected” communities
·Using a social justice, inclusion, and cultural competency model for advocacy, awareness, and assistance. Recognizing structural barriers, cultural contexts, and the intersectionality of cultural worldviews and identities that are important to honor and consider in problem gambling advocacy, awareness, and assistance.
·Positive Community Assets: Recognizing the numerous positive assets in diverse communities and partnering with them to provide advocacy, awareness and assistance, such as faith and spiritual communities (i.e., clergy, spiritual leaders, lay ministers/persons), schools, businesses (i.e., barbers, community small businesses)