The Massachusetts Ambassador Project is a participatory, peer-to-peer strategy that trains men of color with a history of substance misuse to lead conversations about the intersection of problem gambling and substance misuse in their community. This innovative approach is designed to reach populations at higher risk for problem gambling.
After receiving training to increase their knowledge of problem gambling prevention, ambassadors contact organizations that serve populations at high risk, to establish and/or strengthen partnerships. Their goal is to reach peers who are at a high risk of developing problem gambling. The ambassadors then lead and facilitate individual and group conversations with peers about problem gambling prevention.
Within the first year of the initiative, the ambassadors accomplished the following:
Reached over 4,000 individuals statewide with problem gambling prevention education and messaging
Engaged a range of organizations, such as treatment, recovery, social service, corrections, and faith-based entities.
This initiative shows promise in sustainable community impact through the engagement of community-based organizations.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a listening ear or an honest conversation – both are small acts of kindness that open the door to developing authentic relationships that allow people to be honest.”
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing problems with gambling and need support, call 1.800.327.5050 or visit gamblinghelplinema.org to speak with a trained specialist. Specialists are available 24/7. Services are free, confidential, and available in multiple languages.