In late August the Minnesota problem gambling helpline contract from the state was awarded to the Invitation Health Institute (IHI). Call center operations will now be handled by Canvas Health/Crisis Connection out of Richfield. IHI (formerly the Minnesota Institute of Public Health) had initially started the helpline and hosted the operation until 2007 when the service contract was awarded to a Chicago-based EAP.

The staff at Canvas Health began taking calls to the helpline on October 1. We believe that having the helpline administered locally will strengthen the interaction and involvement of Minnesota Department of Human Services staff, problem gambling treatment providers and other stakeholders, insuring that the helpline provides the highest level of service to anyone calling for assistance.

The helpline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Its goal is to help troubled gamblers and concerned family members identify plans of action and find referrals to counseling and treatment. Anyone in Minnesota can access the helpline at (800) 333-HOPE. Treatment providers should contact Kevin Spading, project director, or Becky Sechrist, project manager, with any questions.