As the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling (MNAPG) witnesses a tremendous expansion of gambling driven by increasing online options, the organization is also seeing a rise in the number of people who indicate problem gambling, says executive director Susan Sheridan Tucker.
“Problem gambling treatment historically is designed for the white culture, but we know people from all our communities are affected by gambling disorder,” she says. “Yet at the same time, there are very few providers of color who work in this field. We need to do much more to increase diversity in prevention and in the treatment field.”
Sheridan Tucker identified this issue soon after assuming her role. “Once I learned who is impacted and then looked at service providers and others who are leading efforts in this arena, I saw the disconnect.”
To advance this work, MNAPG has developed relationships with four organizations that are receiving funds from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to increase awareness of problem gambling within their specific diverse communities. MNAPG is also hosting a November 2022 conference with keynote speaker Dr. Deborah Haskins, a nationally acclaimed problem gambling treatment provider and expert in gambling disorder. She is a person of color and has spent her career advocating for providing culturally relevant services.
“We are approaching this work with a great deal of cultural humility,” says Sheridan Tucker. “We don’t want this to be about checking a box for a grant. We want to plant the seeds to cultivate new leaders in the field so that every Minnesotan receives culturally relevant treatment.”