Yellowhawk launching Problem Gambling Program in April

MISSION – Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center will launch a Problem Gambling Program. It begins in April on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The first Problem Gambling Group is scheduled for Thursday, April 2, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Behavioral Health Department at Yellowhawk.

Some 2.3 percent of Oregon’s adult population, the same as the national rate, self-identifies as having a gambling problem. That is tied with Asian Americans for the highest rate in the nation, and is more than double the rate among all adults. About 1 percent of white Americans self-identify as having a gambling problem.

“The percentage is really highest, at 7 percent, if people are honest about their gambling,” said Shayne Arndt, Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) III, Chemical Dependency Clinical Manager at Yellowhawk.

The Problem Gambling Program falls under Yellowhawk’s Behavioral Health Department’s Chemical Dependency Program, which is led by Arndt.

“Gambling has the highest risk of suicide of any addiction due to shame, guilt and emotions surround the loss of money, resources and family,” Arndt said.

An American Society of Addiction Medicine or mental health assessment and treatment plan must be completed to participate in the group. Yellowhawk will provide transportation and childcare during afternoon groups Monday through Thursday to reduce barriers to treatment.

Pam Fisher, CADC I, and Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor (CGAC) I Trainee, and LeeAndria Wilcraft, MSW, Certified Social Work Associate (CSWA), CGAE 1 Trainee, will provide community education at local events after April 1.

Lisa Guzman, CEO at Yellowhawk, said she’s happy to offer another service to Tribal patrons.

“Our goal is to deliver a broad scope of behavioral health services and we are pleased to add Problem Gaming to the services we provide to the Yellowhawk Community,” she said in a news release.