Institute for Gambling Education and Research's MHSAS grant will fund two clinics and expand services for all Tennesseans

The Institute for Gambling Education and Research (T.I.G.E.R.) was recently awarded a $1.2 million grant by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) to expand gambling research and treatment services for all Tennesseans.

With Dr. James Whelan, research professor in the Department of Psychology and Institute Director, at the helm, T.I.G.E.R. has earned an international reputation for research on prevention and treatment for gambling disorders since its establishment more than 20 years ago. The partnership with MHSAS has also afforded T.I.G.E.R. the opportunity to maintain a clinic on campus to treat more than 1,000 people whose lives have been significantly harmed by gambling.

The grant is a game changer for T.I.G.E.R. as it will allow the Institute to open a second gambling clinic led by Dr. Meredith Ginley, assistant professor of Psychology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The ETSU clinic will focus its efforts on providing services to those in rural and Appalachian communities, while the University of Memphis clinic will focus on ethnic minority and urban communities. Together, these clinics will evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of gambling disorder treatment among historically underserved communities. Both clinics will also cross-train clinical psychology graduate student therapists in telehealth and in-person services.

Lastly, funding will enable the creation and evaluation of an online portal for gambling assessment and treatment. Research on the online portal will be led by Dr. Rory Pfund, research assistant professor and University of Memphis alumni.

For more information on this grant or the research clinics, contact Whelan at jwhelan@memphis.edu.