Diocesan News

Anti-Gambling Program Available To Diocesan Schools Students

The diocesan Program for the Development of Human Potential reaches out to young people in Brooklyn and Queens through various exhibits at youth rallies around the diocese.

The Department of Education, Diocese of Brooklyn Drug Abuse Prevention Program, also known as The Program for the Development of Human Potential (PDHP), has partnered with the New York Council on Problem Gambling to carry out the YOU(th) Decide projects in Brooklyn and Queens. This will mark the seventh year of this project.

You(th) Decide is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling. Local providers participating in the YOU(th) Decide project educates youth, works with local community leaders to decrease the availability of gambling at family and youth-focused events, and conduct media and outreach campaigns.

Underage gambling brings with it a number of negative consequences, many of which are serious and can be devastating to the youth as well as his/her family and friends. The younger an adolescent begins gambling, the more likely he/she is to develop a gambling addiction. Underage gamblers are at an increased risk of delinquency and crime, damaged relationships and poor academic performance. Youth who gamble are also more likely than their non-gambling peers to develop mental health issues including depression and alcohol/substance abuse disorders, to attempt suicide and to maintain poor general health.

PDHP, funded by the Office of Substance Abuse Services, has provided prevention counselors in some of the elementary and high schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn schools for more than 30 years.

The staff at PDHP are masters level either in social work or educational counseling. Family counseling is also provided in both Queens and Brooklyn offices.

If you would like to learn more about YOU(th) Decide, please visit our website www.youthdecideny.org or our agency website www.pdhpbklyndiocese.org or contact our Youth Decide Consultant Diana Ragusa at 718-849-2200.

You can also contact Sal Violo, LCSW, 718-849-2200 at the Queens Office and Katie Riggs-Poy, 718-871-7777 at the Brooklyn Office for other prevention and intervention services in substance abuse.


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