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Teen Peer Group Tackles Problem Gambling | Elizabeth Thielen and Robin Czapla – Nicasa

Today we’ll be discussing a unique gambling awareness program that Nicasa behavioral health services brings to high school aged students in the Chicagoland area. Nicasa recently won a second round of grant funding from the National Council on Problem Gambling, which is supported through donations from the NFL Foundation and fan duel.

Nicasa is using the funds to support a teen problem gambling peer group. This talented group of teens are applying their creative abilities and art and music along with their social media savvy, to bring awareness to harms the gambling can cause to their peers. They’ve also begun work on a virtual reality platform designed to help teens build skills that allow them to steer away from unexpected gambling, be it a spontaneous poker game at a party being handed a scratch off or even downloading a gambling app on their phone.

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Shane Cook: Welcome to another episode of Wager Danger. I’m your host, Shane Cook. And today we’ll be discussing a unique gambling awareness program that Nicasa behavioral health services brings to high school aged students in the Chicagoland area. Nicasa recently won a second round of grant funding from the National Council on Problem Gambling, which is supported through donations from the NFL Foundation and fan duel.

Nicasa is using the funds to support a teen problem gambling peer group. This talented group of teens are applying their creative abilities and art and music along with their social media savvy, to bring awareness to harms the gambling can cause to their peers. They’ve also begun work on a virtual reality platform designed to help teens build skills that allow them to steer away from unexpected gambling, be it a spontaneous poker game at a party being handed a scratch off or even downloading a gambling app on their phone.

This teen peer group is proving that messages from teens to teens can be way more effective than the same message delivered by adults. Joining us today from the council is Elizabeth Thielen and her colleague Robin Czapla We’ll start with you, Elizabeth. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Nicasa.

Elizabeth Thielen: Well, I am the senior director here and I oversee our gambling outreach prevention and treatment program. I’m actually a certified problem gambling counselor. I’m also a former athlete and a person with lived experience with gambling harm. So it’s really close to my heart to try to reach out to people who might have an increased risk for developing gambling problems and do anything that I can to provide them the education, awareness and support to make healthier decisions.

Shane Cook: And you’re also an alum of the Wager Danger show. This is the second or third time you’ve been on. Robin, tell us a little bit about you.

Robin Czapla: Yeah, I’m Robin. I’m the outreach specialist for problem gambling at Nicasa, and I am a U.S. Army veteran. I just got out in April and got the job as the outreach specialist. And I really like to focus on veterans and problem gambling because that is where my heart lies.

Shane Cook: Fantastic. Robin, it was great meeting you in person when we were at the Education Session up in Mundelein. Yes, not too long ago. I wanted to say that was just last month, but I know it was a few months ago.

Robin Czapla: Time feels like it.

Shane Cook: Yeah, absolutely. Glad to have you both. You know, one of the things that we had talked about preshow, Elizabeth, is the opportunity to talk about the National Council on Problem Gambling, an initiative which is the Agility grants. And Nicasa is now a two time recipient of this funding, this grant. And I wonder if you could spend a little bit of time just talking about that, what the process is for applying for this grant, how you’ve been able to be awarded this grant two times now in the past, what, two years?

Three years?

Elizabeth Thielen: Yeah. So we the process to apply there’s if you go to MCP gambling dot org, there’s information I think under the programs tab it says agility grants and it has all the information about the applications and they have different pillars that will probably talk about that you can apply under. But it’s a pretty I think it’s a pretty easy process to apply.

And I think that we were successful in obtaining our first grant in part because we have such incredible teens who are very energetic and creative to start with. But it was just such a small little project. It really started out with the responsible gifting or the Gift Responsibly campaign. It started out with that and we had a couple of teens, I shouldn’t say a couple like a handful of teens from our teen court program.

So it’s a youth diversion program that we reached out to. And we just said, hey, you know, young people are getting caught up using scratch lottery tickets. Sometimes adults are giving them to would you like to, you know, participate in some way of educating adults and teens about this? And they got real creative and they made a little educational video and then they expanded that just to do some other stuff surrounding discouraging underage gambling and making sure that young athletes understand the effect of sports betting on eligibility as an NCAA athlete.

So we just had had a few things that they had done already. They were involved in the Problem Gambling Awareness Month as well. Right? And yeah. And so it allowed us to say, hey, there are doing pretty cool stuff, but with some resources we could really expand on this.

Shane Cook: Okay, so, so the grant that Nicasa received is focused around teen problem gambling, creating peer groups, going out in the community, talking about it, or maybe I should say maybe they are going out in the community, but they’re also focused on maybe the high school that they’re a part of and doing running some programs there. Is that correct?

Elizabeth Thielen: Yeah, They’re definitely in their home schools, sharing information, even in their own families. One of the things that the young people created was a video and we got it put up on YouTube. They enlisted their family, so they had them like reenact that. They were watching a football game together and there’s betting happening. So, you know, they’re bringing it into their homes, but they are showing up to events in the community like resource fairs and that sort of thing.

Shane Cook: Sure. And I would imagine my experience with my own teenagers has been they’re very adept at utilizing social media and all of the electronic means of communication. So I would imagine there’s a fair amount of that that goes into this program as well, or that they utilize those channels to get the message out.

Elizabeth Thielen: Absolutely. And actually, the second round that we were in allowed us to kind of take it to the next level and not just use cell phone videos, but to purchase a 360 camera and a platform that has a lot of functionality up through using it for VR. So we’re able to do some really cool stuff now even more than what they were doing already.

Shane Cook: Yeah, that sounds like it. So let’s take a step back then and talk about the funding that’s available that the National Council on Problem Gambling is is able to provide through this agility grant program. That’s part of the funding that the NFL, through the NFL Foundation provided. And I believe they provided millions of dollars to support awareness type activities around problem gambling and this fits under that banner.

Is that correct?

Elizabeth Thielen: Yes, that’s correct.

Shane Cook: And FanDuel also participated in that.

Elizabeth Thielen: Yeah, I believe there were.

Shane Cook: They provide some funding as well. I think that’s really incredible that it has such high visibility. These grants are pretty competitive, as I understand it. And I’m just curious, when it comes down to the selection criteria for the grant, what what are the types of things that they’re looking for in your proposal?

Elizabeth Thielen: Well, I think they are really looking for innovation. They’re looking for things that maybe haven’t been done before or that are just really new and promising, expanding on things that might already be showing some minimal success. But with support could do more. And they really want to see that you’re addressing at risk and priority populations like, you know, young people, high school, college athletes, communities of color and, you know, the work that we were doing and wanting to do on a larger scale was really hitting all of those markets.

Shane Cook: Okay. All right. Well, again, congratulations. I know you all are doing some great work at No Castle Behavioral health. So this just allows you to pursue an additional avenue or expand on a on a channel that you already had in place because no cancer has has had a history of focusing on this age demographic through some of your other programs.

In addition to this, this peer problem gambling group. What are some of the other programs that you have that are tailored towards adolescents, high school age kids or things like that?

Elizabeth Thielen: Well, I think the the teen program that I mentioned, the teen court program that some of our volunteers came from is one of the programs that I think is just so important here that focuses on young people. You know, young people can make decisions that aren’t all that great and how we as adults and just the system around these young people respond can either, you know, help empower them to make better decisions or it can unfortunately make things more difficult for kids who might be already in a vulnerable state.

And so our teen core program is a model where we we leverage teens to help encourage other teens to make good decisions within a structure that follows a peer court model. So there is an adult judge, but the jurors and the attorneys are teens that are actually trained in juvenile law. And the act is mentors and models of making decisions that, you know, would help them to hopefully reach their goal someday and not take them further from their goals.

And that model has just been so successful. Our teens that come through the program really show a rate of recidivism that is so much lower than just going through the traditional juvenile court system. I wouldn’t say juvenile court, but that traditional criminal justice pathway in some of these youth that come through as offenders go on to become volunteers, and now they’re the role models in their communities.

Right. Which is really cool. Some of our volunteers have gone on to become attorneys. We we get word from them from time to time. Some have become, you know, assistant state’s attorneys. We have had one of our volunteers go on to become an attorney, then to become a judge, then become a chief judge. It’s just really Well, yes, it’s a very cool program.

And so it’s not surprising to me that some of the great ideas and momentum and energy for this problem gambling prevention came up out of that group. But that’s just one example. We do provide mental health and substance use services for adolescents. And, you know, we have supportive services for families who might be experiencing some sort of crisis and we help to connect them to community resources that will help them to navigate those crises in a healthy and a connected way.

So it’s really you know, it’s it’s a real core value of us to help empower people to make healthy choices. And so this just fell right in line with what we already do and what we’re passionate about. And we’ve been a gambling service provider for over 20 years. So it’s really exciting that we’re now marrying two parts of our program that are just so important to us and we’re seeing like a real synergistic results.

Shane Cook: Okay, great. So the number of the number of high school students that you have participating in this group, about how many people do you have? How did it happen? Where did you start and and where are you today in terms of the growth of the program?

Elizabeth Thielen: Well, we started out, like I said, with a handful that were really came from our teen court program, which was a variety of local high schools, but that has expanded in the first year. I think we ended up having 24 official volunteers and now we’re upwards of over 40, almost 50. And they’re from all over. They’re from Lake County, Kane County, Cook County.

We’ve even got some from over the border and Wisconsin and, you know, the use of technology, one is just really facilitated information sharing among these teens. Some of these teens will never meet each other, but they are just working in collaboration. You know, one who’s really good at graphic design type stuff and ideas will come up with something and then, you know, kind of pass it over to other members of the group and they will turn it into some sort of video campaign and get it on social media or, you know, get it printed and take it out in the community and go to actual events.

So it’s kind of neat the the coordination that’s happening among these youth that are from just all different areas.

Shane Cook: Sure. And it sounds like it casts a very wide net here. Are these students, are they engaged at their local high schools as well to recruit other members, things like that?

Elizabeth Thielen: Absolutely. I was telling Robin that we’ll have events and I’m like, who are you? Like? Some of our young people are recruiting their peer group and just saying, This is really cool. You need to come and do this. And so it really just helps to to again, you know, I’m almost 50 and I can go out there and I can have what I think is really compelling information.

But when it’s coming from these young people in a way that they know that other young people will be responsive to, it’s so much more meaningful than just having somebody like me out there sharing that information. So, yeah, and Robin actually is. Oh, sorry.

Shane Cook: Go ahead. Go ahead.

Elizabeth Thielen: Yeah. So Robin is working with a group that is pretty exciting. Something coming up that I wanted her to be able to share.

Robin Czapla: Yeah. So I went to an outreach event in June connected with this other nonprofit organization, and they are a soccer youth soccer team. And so I connected with their youth director and we are planning to do a commercial that, you know, kind of relates to gambling and betting on sports. So we’ll have some soccer action shots in there.

You know that the team player is playing, and I’m pretty excited to see the final result because I think it’s going to be pretty cool.

Shane Cook: Yeah, that sounds cool. What can I ask which soccer club dress.

Robin Czapla: Shirt there called Heart of the City? They’re based out of Waukegan here in Illinois.

Shane Cook: Yeah. Kudos to them for stepping up to partner with you all to do that.

Elizabeth Thielen: One thing I’m excited about and that is that the intention is that the commercial will be available both in English and Spanish because we have a large amount of Spanish-speaking community members. The hope is that their they themselves are going to help to identify what kinds of sporting events might be coming up that we can utilize that ad and get it airing during the live broadcast of these different events.

We had actually hoped to get in during the Women’s World Cup. That was what they, you know, wanted to do, and we sure wanted to do it too. But we have a slow production and stuff to get done. But those are the kinds of events that this commercial that they’re putting together will be airing during.

Shane Cook: Yeah. Excellent. You know, kind of tagging on that. We talked about the sports, all these peers working with their other peers, how much how much outreach is actually going back into other segments in that high school demographic, if you will. I mean, athletes are, I think, a good target area, but there’s there’s a broad stroke area here that also needs to hear the message.

So are there other creative things that some of the group has paired off or, you know, knocked out a little piece that they could go after another type of demographic in that age group?

Elizabeth Thielen: Robin, do you help the outreach numbers? We we actually don’t limit ourselves to any one group, the college athletes, the high school athletes are important demographic. We’re just high school students in general as well as middle school students, but also the adults in these young people’s lives because we are at a place where awareness about the exposure of young brains to gambling is not there.

It’s not there the way that it is alcohol and drugs and so our young people are actually coming to events that are largely adult attended and they’re sharing information about not giving our young people access to sports betting apps or not giving them lottery tickets. And I’m actually really heartened and somewhat surprised at how receptive the adults are to hearing these messages from the young people.

But yeah, we’re reaching a real broad range of people.

Shane Cook: Yeah, I think that’s. Oh, go ahead, Robin.

Robin Czapla: I was just going to give you the numbers. Since May, we’ve done 30 outreach events and when they total out of 2100 and roughly 2100 people at those events.

Shane Cook: Very nice. So your message is getting across to quite a few individuals. I think it’s I think it’s interesting and enlightened that the message is going to the parents of teens because and I think parents in general are very receptive to hear from other teens, things that they may not be hearing from their own teens. It gives them a sense of, okay, I know I have a better sense for what’s going on with my own teen and their peer groups because I’m hearing it from other people their age.

So I think that’s fantastic that you’re able to reach out and and that the kids themselves are intentionally going out and speaking to these adults because that’s no small feat to get teenagers to communicate with adults.

Elizabeth Thielen: Yeah. And they’re real. You know, we had one event where we did like a pop up kiosk in a mall, and it was it was pretty cool. I mean, I think it had almost ten volunteers who showed up. And it wasn’t just one day we were there for, I think, four or five days, and they’re just standing there and they’re trying to hand out information and engage.

And they actually created an interactive quiz. So they’ve got a laptop set up and they’re inviting people who are walking by in the mall to come and learn about underage gambling and take this quiz. And, you know, we had to really support and process with our teens those interactions, because I can go to those events and have, you know, nine out of ten people passing by ignore me.

And it’s kind of annoying because I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m actually going to give you stuff. I’m going to give you quizzes and stuff. But for a young person, especially when a number of the people who are not receptive and do just walk by might be different, you know, from a different demographic of them. There’s a there’s a question and and a wonderment like why why won’t they come talk to me?

Is there something about me that, you know, there they don’t like, you know, and they’re feeling they’re feeling a little confused and a little especially they’re volunteering their time. Their friends are probably at home, you know, playing video games or whatever. And they’re volunteering like eight or 9 hours in a day to do this. So we really have to support them and let them know that this is very common.

And and it’s it is hard to just like in a cold call type situation, to share information when people can be very guarded, they’re just guarded anymore about interacting with people that they don’t know and that every person that they do talk to really just has a potential of spreading something that is so crucial, a message that is so important that, you know, we really appreciate them making themselves vulnerable to do that.

Shane Cook: No, I think that’s that’s a great point. So I appreciate you mentioning that. As we’ve been talking about this, I’m reminded of a recent program that was released and there was some training on. We even talked to Chris Ward at the way back in about this was a program called Stacked Deck, which is a program that’s targeted specifically at high school age students to to bake that into the curriculum.

Has this group thought about ways that they can help bring that to their high schools, maybe have it as part of the curriculum in the health program, something like that?

Elizabeth Thielen: We definitely are interested in that. Robin is actually trained in this stack, a stack deck, and we know that that curriculum did need some updating and the some of the language and in forms of gambling, you know, definitely don’t wouldn’t resonate with young people. Now I believe a lot of that update has happened, but it is challenging to get curriculum into schools when there’s already so much that is that needs to be fit in during the academic period.

So we definitely are interacting with middle schools and high schools, getting in at least, you know, in in a health class. I’m doing something in a few weeks with a class that helps people to look at different careers and, you know, any opportunity for us to get in there, we’re making sure that we’re sharing information about this field and about these efforts.

But it is something that would likely require some advocacy, a higher level to advocate for that to be allowed in. And we’re all made for it. The wonderful thing about underage gambling prevention is it really pairs very well with all of the other important prevention efforts. So substance use and and taking care of oneself, one’s mental health, all of these things really are not incompatible there.

It actually makes more sense to bring this in to existing prevention efforts. And so we’re kind of at that stage, all of us are on how do we allow something like this stack deck or other ideas to to come in to the existing prevention efforts.

Robin Czapla: Of a school?

Shane Cook: Okay. Well, one thing about teens and having them involved, they can get very creative and different ways to to kind of bring this in. If it’s not formally, I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to spread that message informally. What in working with this group, what are some of the things that you’ve noticed from their own, let’s call it their own journey about learning of problem gambling and gambling addiction?

What are what are some interesting things that you’ve learned from this group?

Elizabeth Thielen: Well, one thing that I’ve learned is that you can provide the information and we provide research to these young people. Anything that there is available, like, you know, the high school gambling fact sheet from the National Council, some of the information from I think it’s youth youth gambling dot com or there’s a lot of research out there you can share it with them how they process it and kind of repackage it in a way that would be most well received by their peers and by adults in their community is really cool to me.

It’s they’re taking the concepts and they’re making them very palatable. It’s not something where anybody is trying to take like an anti-gambling stance, but it’s anti problem gambling, and part of avoiding or preventing problem gambling is preventing underage gambling. And, you know, I think of one of our young people so creative, so talented as an artist, and he decided after reviewing all this research, he didn’t even want to write anything.

He wasn’t creating like a worksheet or anything. He drew a picture of what he pictures problem gambling to do to somebody emotionally. And it is so compelling, the expression on the face that he drew and what we did was we had that put on t shirts and were used as giveaways in communities to get people to come and learn from the teens and hear what they were doing and why.

And we even had this young person work with a local graphic design company to learn how do I take this and then turn it into an actual message. And we got that message put up on a billboard. So we talk about the reach, the 2100 or whatever that Robin was sharing is that actual people encountered interacted with. But there are so many more that are indirectly, you know, everybody who drives by this billboard, whether they’re driving a car, they’re writing on a bike, they’re walking by it, they’re on a bus.

And this billboard actually had a picture of this young man’s artwork. And it actually had a picture of his hand with a pen in it. And it said, your parents would rather pay for our school than for a gambling debt. And the message was really one of don’t gamble underage and whoever is gambling don’t gamble beyond your means, like don’t accumulate debt as a result of gambling.

So it was a very you know, there’s the term like responsible gambling, you know, not gambling underage and gambling within your means are two facets of that. And so that one billboard said a lot. And it was also a really cool opportunity for that young man to interact with somebody who is working in in possibly his chosen field.

So to get that kind of networking and learn like what does it look like to be an A graphic designer? So that’s kind of an unexpected side effect of this program. Is the teens actually getting to connect with people who are doing important stuff in their different fields and and them getting to see what that would look like and help them to hone in on what their future career goals might be.

Shane Cook: Right. Is is that a great story? I think that’s there’s a lot to that that we could unpack there. Just the the learning process, the realization that this young man came to. We’re going to take a copy of that and include a link or if not, the artwork itself will include a link to so people can get out there and see that.

But I believe he also had another individual who also took this to another level in terms of expressing what they’ve learned through this program. Do you want to talk about that one?

Elizabeth Thielen: Yeah, I would. I love to talk about this one. So like I said, we share the information, we share the research, and then we say, what would you like to do with this? And this young woman in our program said, I would like to write a song. And I, I was like, okay, that’s interesting. You do, you know?

And so we were actually at an event. All the young people were walking in a parade and she said, I wrote my song, Do you want to hear it? And she just belted it out, you know, a cappella. And it was it literally made you know, it gave me goosebumps. And so as a part of the second year project, we were able to get her to a recording studio in Chicago, where she was able to record her song that she wrote and sang professionally.

Elizabeth Thielen: And it’s called Make Things Right. In this, you have 45 seconds. I like to just play a clip for you.

That you it’s hard for me to sing that I think.

I need to know for the day kind of struggle to agree when I’m on.

My family. Leave the passion. And trust me, all of that is overwhelming. It’s all I sing. How do.

I lose my mind when all I do is make.

My money working and you take the things I give me like.

Elizabeth Thielen: Isn’t that. Enough? That is fantastic.

And actually what is so clever, I mean, so creative and so clever. She was 14 when she wrote that, by the way, you know. But, you know, she knew that the funding for this program came from the NC PG agility grant with funding from the NFL Foundation and from additional funding through FanDuel. And she did choose to bring in the the language about, you know, if I gamble, I will fumble just to kind of tie that in.

I just thought that was so cool. So what a clever creative young lady and, and her and the other group has done some really cool stuff, but I could just go on all day talking about But.

Shane Cook: That is so great. I mean, that that’s a true opportunity for her to to shine and utilize the talent that she has to bring about this message. Show Are we okay to say at least our first name.

Elizabeth Thielen: Huh? Yeah, for sure. Her name is Alicia, and I will share the the file. I also can share a link to We’ve put it on YouTube. But what we hope to do, and it all depends on can we make that work? We would love to see a music video created to really just, you know, see this through to all the ways that it can be used.

Now she’s gone to many events and actually just gotten on the mic and and sang it live, which is it? Actually, every time she sings it, she changes it up a bit. She’s a true artist and I think it’s so cool. And I find myself just like singing this song. And thankfully nobody’s around me to hear how poorly I do it in comparison to her.

Elizabeth Thielen: But you know, I played this actually for a family member and they cried and they said, I have nothing to do with gambling or problem gambling. And this just hit me. And so, yeah.

Shane Cook: Yeah, that’s that’s so great. Robin Elizabeth, you all are having such an impact on on these youths lives and potentially their future careers, as well as spreading a very important message about the dangers of gambling for some people in really creative and unique ways. So I love this program. I know you all do too, that the National Council on Problem Gambling adores this program too, because they’ve continued to fund it.

And I hope that continues each and every year and that the program continues to grow at the pace that it is.

Elizabeth Thielen: Thank you.

Shane Cook: Absolutely. And thanks for sharing these stories. Before we break, I just want to ask you, is there anything else that that you want to add about the the program itself, where do you envision it heading into the future, some future ideas that you have in mind, so on and so forth?

Elizabeth Thielen: Well, one thing I’d like to share that the youth are already doing, even this young lady who made the song and the one who do the artwork, they’re getting involved, They’ve got other volunteers. What they’re doing is they’re using that 30, 60 camera that I mentioned before to create scenarios where young people might be exposed to opportunities to gamble.

And so they’re recording them. Like, for example, one recording was of of somebody going to a sleepover and they walk down the stairs and instead of a sleepover, there’s a basement poker game and they’re being invited. Come on, sit down. I hope you brought your money. And what it does is they record different potential responses and it becomes like a choose your own adventure type thing where you can click on make an excuse and leave, make an excuse and go sit on the couch and and they actually record themselves doing these things.

So you can, you know, the user of this program can actually learn how to successfully navigate some of these scenarios that might come up in their own life and get practice and get some skill building. We’ve already rolled it out. We piloted it at what was it? It was on and I’m losin with the event that we were at, but we were at a large community event and we had a laptop and the kids were there and they were showing the community members how to use the program and it was just so cool.

So where we see that going, all of the equipment, the platform that we’re using has the VR capability. And so that’s our next step, is to use that program in a way that really, really replica meets the experience for young people who might be, you know, handed a card that has the scratch lottery ticket in it or past a phone that has a sports betting app on it and saying, hey, pick, you know, you know, place a bet, you know, something like that.

And it will actually prepare them to respond in a way that is safer than what they might if they were caught off guard. So we’re so excited about the app.

Shane Cook: Yeah, that sounds very creative. Implement and that type of type of approach. And I’m sure at least for this, for the teen demographic, that’s something that can really pull them in to spread that message. So high marks for creativity there for sure.

Elizabeth Thielen: We can’t take any credit for it.

Shane Cook: Oh well, no, it all comes from them, right?

Elizabeth Thielen: Yep. Right.

Shane Cook: Yeah. And that’s, that’s why I think it it’s it’s going to be very successful because of that. And yet it does no good for you and I to try and reach out to teens with a message. It’s much better served when it comes from their peer group.

Elizabeth Thielen: Absolutely. And one thing that I want to say is these these young people are so not about self-promotion in any kind of way. Last year, when we were going to be going to the national conference and talking about the program, I actually reached out to some of them. I said, Hey, you know, if we can make it happen, do you think you’d like to come and present and talk about your program?

It’s it’s in Boston. And they’re like, no, just to go sign and they’re not they’re not trying to brag on themselves or anything. They’re just moving on to the to the next project that they want to do for this. So it’s really cool. The other thing I do want to say, because you mentioned like they’re very adept at getting messages out there.

One of the things that they did together was one had created an idea and a campaign. It was called What’s Your Big Win? And they kicked it to some of the other group members who created a video promoting that young people will make social media posts, particularly Instagram posts, showing what their hobby is or their interest or their sport.

Anything that’s incompatible with gambling, calling it what’s your big win and using the hashtag, what’s your big win? And so they created this social media campaign to really, you know, normalize and validate doing activities that are not underage gambling. So that was pretty neat.

Shane Cook: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Well, like I said earlier, you all are changing some lives through this program. They’re helping each other change their own lives and the lives of others. So, um, yeah, fantastic job and great idea that grew out of the programs that you’ve had in place at No Castle for several years, sort of focused on the teen age demographic.

And this is just an extension of that. So congratulations once again and keep up the great work.

Elizabeth Thielen: Thank you so much. And thank you for the awesome podcast. We’re finding the young people really late podcast. And so sometimes this is just a way for them to learn about something or to feel like, Hey, it’s not just me that’s going through this. So, you know, podcasts like yours are really making a big impact on a real wide variety of people.

So thank you for having this.

Shane Cook: Absolutely. I appreciate that. All right. Well, enjoy the rest of your day. I appreciate you taking a little time out to sit with us in the virtual studio and and record the latest episode for Way True Danger. And look forward to seeing you again soon.

Elizabeth Thielen: Yes, definitely.

Shane Cook: And we love hearing from you. So please take a moment to like, share and comment on our podcast. You can reach out to us directly via email at Wager. Danger at Gateway Foundation dot org. Look for us on Facebook and Twitter at Recovery Gateway on LinkedIn at Gateway Dash Foundation or through our website at Gateway Foundation. Dot org Wager Danger is supported through funding in whole or in part through a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery.

And remember, recovery is a lifelong process. If you are a family member struggling with a gambling problem, call Gateway at 8449753663 and speak with one of our counselors for a confidential assessment making.

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