ConnexOntario Health Services Information announced today a Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)-endorsed addition to its existing suite of

LONDON, ON, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - ConnexOntario's appointment booking facilitates the quick and efficient scheduling of appointments with MOHLTC-funded problem gambling counselling services. Along with live-answer information and referral, system education, and short-term support, individuals contacting ConnexOntario's service, the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline, receive immediate assistance and encouragement to take further steps to access treatment services and, to facilitate this, can now be offered an appointment date and time with registered organizations.

Statistics indicate that individuals looking for problem gambling assistance benefit from receiving a "hard" appointment date and time; those left to schedule their own appointments are less likely to do so, and ultimately experience lower rates of problem resolution.

Problem gambling appointment booking is an outcome of a two-year "warmline" pilot project undertaken by ConnexOntario in conjunction with eight problem gambling counselling agencies. A proposal was made to the MOHLTC by ConnexOntario to expand this function to all of the problem gambling agencies in the province. The proposal was turned into reality via a letter of approval received in November 2009, from Deb Matthews, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Endorsement for this project includes over half a million dollars in one-time funding.

ConnexOntario Health Services Information exists to improve access to alcohol and drug, problem gambling and mental health services for the people of Ontario. ConnexOntario also supports the development of an efficient and accountable service system by providing planning information to system managers and stewards. ConnexOntario is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (OPGH) toll free-number is 1-888-230-3505 and it is available 24/7/365.


For further information: For further information: Anne Counter, Manager, Information and Referral Services, (519) 439-0174

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