PGRC Help Calls

What To Expect from a PGRC Help Call

Who answers help calls?

Program Managers (PMs) of the regional Problem Gambling Resource Centers (PGRCs) in New York State. Anyone who’s looking for information can reach out through regional helplines and a PM will help them as best as they can.

Are these calls confidential?

Yes. All information disclosed on any help call is entirely confidential.  All information is used solely to get people connected to the best support service in their local area.

Best support service?

Depending on what the caller is looking for (i.e. help, resources, trainings, etc.) we’re here to help. If someone is calling for themselves or a loved one’s gambling problem, we have services. We can offer 1-1 treatment services, connections to Gamblers Anonymous, Gamanon and SMART recovery.  We also offer support groups through the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG).

Other Concerns?

If callers have any other concerns, we work with the “no wrong door” approach. We just want that person to get the help they are seeking. This means partnering with local organizations that offer support for other challenges, such as domestic violence and homelessness.

What personal information will I need to offer?

This varies by caller. The minimum needed is the caller’s name and phone number. For callers seeking treatment, we can work with insurance matches, and supplement financial support when needed. We use location for in-person treatment options, but we can also do telehealth as long as the caller is a NYS resident. Also beneficial is an email address so that we can share information and resources.

How far is available help?

In-Person Support

If a caller wants in-person support, it depends on their location. The PGRCs service the entire state of New York.  So, this depends on where your located and what local clinicians offer in-person sessions. We work hard to find clinicians located throughout the region to help reduce any unnecessary travel. Though, some clients are willing to travel based on the specialization of a clinician. This is entirely up to the individual caller.

Telehealth Support

Some clients have taken tele-health treatment. We make sure we have access to care for those in need.  Using tele-health, some clients will take a session in a quiet room in their home, in their car, or sit at a park. Tele-health offers the opportunity for callers to seek their help in any location they find comfortable.

Does my family need to know I’m calling?

That’s entirely up to the caller.

Staying Private

Some callers want to keep their call, and connections to services, private. We support this decision.  As long as the caller is over 18, we have a variety of services we can offer to those struggling with a gambling problem.

If an individual under 18 does call, we can say what the program does and send informational materials. We can’t offer any service through the PGRC without parental consent/support.

Tying in Family

If someone was to call and wanted to include their family, we support this decision, too. If they’re unsure how to start that conversation, we advise them to reach out to a clinician for help.  Clinicians are the experts on how to have a conversation with family members and will walk callers through this process. If callers are waiting for a clinician, we now offer peer-to-peer individual support.  These peer-to-peer connections can help with questions such as, “how did you open up to your family?”

Family members can seek their own support. Clinicians can offer family sessions. Clinicians can see the individual and loved ones affected. Then they may continue seeing the individual and their family or refer family members to another clinician.  This choice varies clinician to clinician.

Additional Family support

Additional support we can refer families include our NYCPG Family Group, GamAnon (which can act as a parallel of support to Gamblers Anonymous), and SMART Recovery. All these resources are a great way to show callers that they are not alone.

Once I call, will I hear from the PGRCs again?

Absolutely. When callers do reach out, we’ll build a relationship and be there every step of the way.  We’ll reach out after the initial treatment session to make sure they have a good fit with their clinician.  This good fit includes their clinician, a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, etc.  We’ll call as a follow-up to see they’ve received the information and had a good experience.  We want to make sure callers are getting the support they seek.  Our main priority is to offer support, help and hope.