SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pramod Pawar, Kevin Jackson

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As Holiday Financial Strain Lingers, ValueOptions Offers Kansas Residents Help for Gambling Issues

TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gambling disorders complicate the lives of millions year-round—but for many facing a gambling issue, the lingering financial strain of the holiday season can cause already significant impulses to increase. This can take a toll on both individuals and their families. In partnership with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), ValueOptions®, Inc., a health improvement company specializing in mental and emotional wellbeing and recovery, offers an affordable program for Kansas residents seeking recovery from gambling issues.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130624/PH36534LOGO )

As credit card bills roll in from the season synonymous with spending, those facing a gambling issue may increase gambling habits as a way to relieve the financial stress brought on by holiday expenses. Aside from the financial impact, impulsive gambling can have devastating consequences on loved ones: families of people with gambling issues are more likely to experience domestic violence and child abuse, and children in these families are at higher risk of experiencing depression, behavior issues and substance use issues.

Whether gambling issues have been exacerbated by holiday debt or cause complications for individuals year-round, help is available for both Kansas residents with gambling problems and their loved ones through a statewide comprehensive treatment program. Funded by a tax collected from 2 percent of state-owned casino revenues, the program offers subsidized, affordable treatment—many times completely free—for those facing a gambling issue. This includes not only individual, group and family therapy, but also acute inpatient, case management, formal interventions and even practical measures like a gas stipend for rural residents who have to travel long distances to meet with a clinician. 

"In 2013 the State of Kansas took a comprehensive look at problem gambling that has allowed us to make informed decisions about prevention and treatment efforts," said Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan. "This month KDADS is launching a major public outreach and information campaign to raise awareness of both the risk factors surrounding problem gambling, and the free treatment options available to Kansans. Studies of other states have shown that it could take as long as five years after the introduction of casinos for the full extent of problem gambling to become evident, so our intent is to be proactive in engaging Kansans in problem gambling prevention efforts."

For more information on the program, Kansas residents may contact Brian Baker, ValueOptions' Kansas Engagement Center Vice President, at 785-338-9051.

About ValueOptions®
ValueOptions is a health improvement company that serves more than 32 million individuals. On behalf of employers, health plans and government agencies, we manage innovative programs and solutions that directly address the challenges our health care system faces today. A national leader in the fields of mental and emotional wellbeing, recovery and resilience, employee assistance, and wellness, ValueOptions helps people make the difficult life changes needed to be healthier and more productive. With offices nationwide and a network of more than 130,000 provider locations, ValueOptions helps people take important steps in the right direction. We help them live their lives to the fullest potential. Visit www.valueoptions.com for more information.

SOURCE ValueOptions

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