Project Build Up

Strengthen the capacity of your outpatient substance use or gambling treatment agency to provide or promote problem gambling treatment services. Project Build Up (PBU) is focused on helping your agency create culturally responsive practices that address health and racial equity to support communities that are disproportionately impacted by problem gambling.

Project Build Up (PBU) is a Grant and Community Support Initiative funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (MDPH) Office of Problem Gambling Services (OPGS) and administered by Health Resources in Action (HRiA).

PBU Learning Academy: Problem Gambling Stigma

Session 1: Tuesday, June 11th 1:00-4:00pm

Session 2: Thursday, June 13th 1:00-4:00pm

The Project Build Up is 2-day, 6-hours-total intensive training program. The overall goal of the Learning Academy is to do a deep-dive of a specific gambling topic and build the capacity of clinicians and other allied health professionals to provide support and treatment. This Learning Academy will be diving deeper into stigma.

Stigma is a problem that works both on the community and individual level, there is evidence that many folks struggling with gambling addiction don’t speak out because of the stigma surrounding it. This training series explores the stigma related to problem gambling and offers tools for providing destigmatizing care. This Learning Academy will allow participants the opportunity to learn about the complexities of stigma but also practice combating stigma in their daily work. Please check the agenda below to see specific training topics and view the application. Applications will be accepted until May 31st.

Date(s) and Time: June 11th and 13th, 2024 from 1:00-4:00pm EST

Location: virtual over Zoom

CE Credits Awarded: 5.5 (check below application for specific licenses)

Learning Objectives (Session 1):

  1. Define stigma and its importance and impact on problem/disordered gambling, substance use, and mental health clients. 
  2. Identify inadvertent stigmatizing language within the fields of gambling addiction, substance use, and mental health. 
  3. Reduce stigmatizing language using the “Language of Recovery Terms” and “The Most Respectful Way of Referring to People is as People” approaches. 
  4. Use stigma reduction initiatives to combat problem/disordered gambling stigma, particularly in my workplace.

Learning Objectives (Session 2):

  1. Understand the unique forms of stigma and discrimination that women with gambling problems may face, including stereotypes about female behavior, motherhood, and social roles.
  2. Identify structural barriers to accessing treatment and support services for problem gambling, such as limited availability of gender-sensitive programs, lack of transportation, childcare responsibilities, and financial constraints. 
  3. Develop strategies to raise awareness about problem gambling among women, including community outreach, educational campaigns, and culturally relevant messaging that destigmatizes seeking help for gambling-related issues.
  4. Recognize what biopsychosocial factors might provoke or promote problem gambling.
  5. Use mindfulness-based therapeutic techniques to reduce problem gambling.

Session 1 (6/11/24): 

  • [1:00-1:10pm] Welcome and introductions
  • [1:10-1:20pm] Presentation by Caitlyn Matykiewicz about “Introduction to Gambling & Gambling Disorder”
  • [1:20-1:30pm] Breakout group introductions/discussion about participants’ experiences with gambling and stigma
  • [1:30-3:00pm] Presentation by George Mladenetz about “Language of Recovery and Combating Gambling Addiction Stigma”
  • [3:00-3:15pm] Break
  • [3:15-3:55pm] Group activity about “Addressing Stigmatizing Language in Practice: Pushback Circle”, led by Elizabeth Bice
  • [3:55-4:00pm] Key takeaways

Session 2 (6/13/24): 

  • [1:00-1:10pm] Welcome and overview of today’s session
  • [1:10-2:10pm] Lived Experience Presentation by Christina Cook about “Behind Closed Doors: The Reality of Women and Disordered Gambling”
  • [2:10–2:40pm] Group activity about “Case Study: Reflecting on Stigma”, led by Maya A. Williams
  • [2:40-2:55pm] Break (not included in CE credit hours)
  • [2:55-3:40pm] Presentation by Maya A. Williams about “The Mind-Body Connection: Problem Gambling Edition”
  • [3:40-3:50pm] Breakout group discussion about “Reflections on Learnings and Applications for Clinical Practice”
  • [3:50-4:00pm] Key takeaways and wrap up

Instructor Bios:

Instructor #1: Caitlyn S. Matykiewicz, MPH is a Community Health Educator at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. She supports outreach activities to increase the awareness of addiction-related health issues and conducts trainings for health providers and community groups. Caitlyn also provides capacity building and technical assistance services to several outpatient programs in Massachusetts. She has a Master of Public Health from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Wheaton College (IL), and a Graphic Design & Visual Communications Certificate from Emory University Continuing Education.

Instructor #2: George Mladenetz, M.Ed., LCADC, ICGC-II has worked in the addictions and mental health fields for over 40 years, mostly within the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). George possesses a Master’s degree in Counseling from The College of NJ. He has been licensed as a Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 2005 and is an International Certified Gambling Counselor-II. He serves as a board member for the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board. George retired from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ in 2020 after 6 years of service. He currently works as a Clinical Consultant and Trainer and remains active in the field of gambling disorder.

Instructor #3: Elizabeth Bice, BA is a Program Associate at Health Resources in Action, supporting the Massachusetts Technical Assistance Center for Problem Gambling Treatment and Project Build Up programs for the Strategic Planning and Organizational Effectiveness team. She devotes most of her time to running and coordinating trainings on a wide variety of gambling-related subjects such as treatment and sports betting. She previously has worked directly with outpatient sites to provide technical assistance. She greatly enjoys being able to work with community leaders and clinicians on ways to treat and educate about problem gambling. Elizabeth graduated from Tufts University in 2020, where she studied Community Health and Spanish and is extremely excited to be working in the public health field. She has previously interned at the Welcome Project and worked with other Boston community organizations and is passionate about community engagement. She is originally from Las Vegas, NV and takes her experience growing up around the casino world to her work today.. 

Instructor #4: Christina Cook is the founder/host of The Broke Girl Society Podcast and co-host of The Bet Free Life on YouTube. In recovery from compulsive gambling since March 2021, Christina spends much of her time working to break the stigma of gambling harm while helping to advocate and spread awareness of the hope and help available to those still struggling. Christina currently sits on the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health Recovery Advisory Board and the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB).

Instructor #5: Maya A. Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the illustrious Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) located in Atlanta, Georgia. Maya then sought to earn her master’s degree in clinical psychology and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Maya is a licensed mental health counselor and is certified as a Problem Gambling Specialist, Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist (CCTP), ADHD-Certified Clinical Services Provider (ADHD-CCSP), and Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP). Maya is an independently contracted Clinical Therapist at Sondermind and a Clinical Therapist and Consultant at Wellness for Our Future, LLC, a black and woman-owned group practice located in Randolph, MA.

Continuing Education Approvals:

  • American Psychological Association (APA) – The Division on Addiction is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Division on Addiction maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This program offers 5.5 continuing education credits.
  • National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) –  This course has been approved by the Division on Addiction, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 5.5 CEs. NAADAC Provider #84058, the Division on Addiction is responsible for all aspects of the programing.
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW) – This program has been approved for 5.5 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. NASW-MA Chapter CE Approving Program, Authorization Number D 92673-1. 
  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) – The Massachusetts Technical Assistance Center for Problem Gambling Treatment is authorized by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to sponsor, conduct or approve continuing education programs for alcohol and drug counselors/assistants (LADCs). This program offers 5.5 continuing education credits.

Funding Statement: The Division on Addiction and Health Resources in Action collaborate to produce M-TAC trainings, courses, and resources, which are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling Services. The instructors have no financial interests that might create a conflict of interest in the development or delivery of this training. Click here to access our full list of our funders and conflict of interest/grievance policies and procedures.