The NCRG’s 2011 Year In Review

2011 was a year of growth for the NCRG. We have many accomplishments to celebrate, from the launch of afirst-of-its-kind online resourcefor college students and administrators to aredesigned websiteandnew social media channels. Taking a cue fromDr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, we decided to make a list of the NCRG’s top 11 accomplishments in 2011.

  1. A Successful Road Tour: In July, the NCRG went to Boston, Mass., to hold key stakeholder events to increase awareness of gambling disorders and responsible gaming, including a treatment provider workshop on the connection between post-traumatic stress disorder and problem gambling and meetings to We also formed a strong partnership with the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling as a result of this trip. The meetings spurred many great ideas for future projects, and we were able to give additional resources to help promote responsible gaming in the state.
  2. The NCRG became more involved in socialmedia:The NCRG launched a Twitter account,@theNCRG, which now has more than 300 followers. It is our hope to use this platform to give the real-time information and latest research on gambling disorders and addictions. We can’t wait to interact more with our Twitter followers, and it’s our goal to live-tweet more events this year.
  3. A Redesigned Website:NCRG.orgreceived some enhancements in November, making it easier to find information about the NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction, NCRG-funded research studies and more. Keep checking back to the NCRG’s website as we add new content in the coming year.
  4. The Creation and Launch of After the Task Force on College Gambling Policies published their science-based recommendations in 2009 about how to address gambling and gambling-related harm on college campuses, the NCRG began to develop an online resource to help in that effort. In March 2011, the NCRG launchedCollegeGambling.orgas a free, easy-to-use online resource for students, university administrators, college mental health professionals and parents. We are very excited to grow this resource as new research and tools become available.
  5. New Resources and Continuing Education for Clinicians – All Available Without Having to Leave the Office: The2011 NCRG Webinar Serieswas popular last year, and sessions covered subjects including discussions about gambling disorders among youth and college students. Dr. Ken Winters from the University of Minnesota simplified the neurobiology behind adolescent brain development in the August 24 session, and the NCRG released the sixth edition ofIncreasing the Odds: A Series Dedicated to Understanding Gambling Disordersin conjunction with this training. We also became an approved continuing education sponsors for the American Psychological Association (APA) and NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.
  6. Partnership with NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals: The NCRG was fortunate to partner with NAADAC on a few additional projects this year. NAADAC co-sponsored the March 23 webinar session titled “Gambling Disorders: What Addiction Professionals Need to Know,” which was the most popular webinar in 2011. Christine Reilly, senior research director for the NCRG, and Dr. Randy Stinchfield, professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, also led a session at NAADAC’s annual conference in September. There is more to come with this partnership in 2012, so stay tuned.
  7. 2011 NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction: Last year, theNCRG Conferencebrought the best conversations and research in the field of gambling disorders and addiction to one event. From Dr. Gary Small, UCLA, to Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, University of Florida College of Medicine, keynote speakers at the NCRG Conference covered the impact of technology on treatment, research and responsible gaming. Dr. Jon Grant, University of Minnesota, and Dr. Marc Potenza, Yale, represented theNCRG Centers of Excellence in Gambling Researchby presenting their latest work in both pre-conference sessions and keynote addresses. For additional conference session summaries, visit the NCRG Conference blog posts onGambling Disorders 360˚.
  8. The NCRG’s First Treatment Provider Workshop Series: To help clinicians better understand the most up-to-date research on gambling disorders and apply those findings to their clinical practice, the NCRG created theTreatment Provider Workshop Series. We held five free workshops this year for more than 225 clinicians across the nation, and we are planning to expand the workshop series to include more cities in 2012.
  9. Increased Funding for Research: In 2011, the NCRG awarded more than $545,000 to support research that will help improve methods of diagnosis, intervention, treatment and prevention of gambling disorders. We look forward to learning about these researchers’ findings, and we will be announcing the 2012 call for applications soon. Please visit theNCRG Research Centeron our website for more information.
  10. Helped Students “Know the Odds”:The NCRG was able to partner with Young Minds Inspired to create and distribute our “Know the Odds” curriculum to middle and high school students in more than 400 schools, reaching more than 94,000 students, faculty and parents. This curriculum also included copies of“Talking with Children about Gambling”for students to take home and share with their parents.
  11. Milestones in Research Publications:We are pleased to announce that NCRG-funded research has resulted in more than 200 peer-reviewed articles published in top-tier academic journals! This is quite an accomplishment, and we are grateful to the researchers, peer-review panels, Scientific Advisory Board and donors for making this possible.

These are only a few of the highlights from 2011, and we are looking ahead at what is to come in 2012. What are some of your top NCRG highlights from last year? Let us know in the comments below

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