Illinois Department of Human Services launches WeKnowtheFeeling.org for individuals with gambling disorder
Website expands access to treatment and recovery resources
CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced the launch of a statewide website to provide access to treatment and recovery for those impacted by gambling disorder.
The website, WeKnowtheFeeling.org, will accompany 1-800-GAMBLER and provide another outlet for individuals experiencing gambling disorder and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals can also text ILGAMB to 53342 to find treatment options. Support specialists who operate the helpline and website are trained in evidence-based approaches to help connect callers and web users with treatment and recovery support services.
The gaming industry is expanding and evolving at unprecedented rates. The global online gambling market alone is forecasted to grow to more than $59 billion by 2020. A recent National Survey of Problem Gambling Services reported that more than 2% of adults in Illinois may have a problem with gambling. Treatment needs vary with each individual, but often stigma and shame prevent individuals with gambling disorder from asking for help.
"This website will provide another way for Illinoisans struggling with gambling disorder to access resources, treatment options and the support they need," said Deputy Governor Sol Flores. "We receive thousands of calls to the 24-Hour hotline each month and we hope to see a large number of people utilize our website the same way. Our focus is providing support and treatment to individuals so they can get back on the right track and out of financial hardship."
The website helps individuals with gambling disorder find the best treatment options available. Individuals can take a quiz to help determine if they have a gambling problem, click to chat with a live specialist for advice about responsible gambling and get connected to local treatment providers.
The news of the website launch comes during Problem Gambling Awareness Month, held annually to help individuals have the conversation about problem gambling and to raise awareness for the services that are available. IDHS gambling treatment programs also participate in this National Council on Problem Gambling campaign.
"It is important for people struggling with problem gambling to know that they are not alone," IDHS Assistant Secretary of Programs Dr. Maria Bruni said. "The website not only serves as an important tool to connect individuals with gambling disorder to treatment, but it also provides a place for people to share their stories of hope and recovery."
The gambling website is funded by the State of Illinois. IDHS Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery partnered with Morneau Shepell, a human resources consulting and technology company that provides clinically driven, award-winning and customizable solutions in responsible gambling, to launch WeKnowtheFeeling.org.
If you or someone you know has a gambling disorder, call the state's hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER, text ILGAMB to 53342 or visit WeKnowtheFeeling.org.