Gambling harm teletherapy support specialist Kindbridge has strengthened its team by appointing the three new board members in Brianne Doura-Schawohl, Eric Kussin, and Seth Young.
Kindbridge is on a mission to become “an integral part of the consumer protection system for gambling,” and the appointments of Doura-Schawohl, Kussin, and Young – who are all experienced in mental health and combating gambling addiction – support that goal.
The virtual behavioral health services company seeks to operate at the intersection of state and regulator policy by offering high-quality teletherapy support.
One of the firm’s key objectives is to ‘bridge the gap’ to therapy, as demand currently in the US for specialist mental healthcare outweighs existing provisions, limiting support for victims, vulnerable people, and their families.
Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge, commented: “This strategic expansion of the Board offers an opportunity to provide high-quality mental health services for employees and patrons of sportsbooks, casinos, and associated businesses. People experiencing mental health conditions are up to 17 times more likely to develop gambling disorder if gambling becomes a regular form of entertainment for them.
“Given the state of mental health in the US and the rapid expansion of legal sports betting, we have a unique opportunity to provide more screening and education, while simultaneously building a national network of care providers that understand the complexities of gambling disorder.”
Brianne Doura-Schawohl is the former Legislative Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling and is the founder and CEO of Doura-Schawohl Consulting LLC.
She most recently served as Vice President of US Policy and Strategic Development for EPIC Risk Management, a global harm prevention consultancy conducting work in over 24 countries.
Doura-Schawohl said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to make a big impact on a space that has been calling out for support for years.
“A telehealth solution that organizes care and access that works with large-scale corporations and distribution partners to get the message out there about the necessity to manage mental health in the gambling space is a huge victory that is long overdue.”
Eric Kussin is a former executive of the NBA and NHL pro-sports leagues and an expert in the lived experience of mental health disorders and recovery.
In 2017, he launched a non-profit called: #SameHere, The Global Mental Health Alliance. With a goal to normalize society’s perception of mental health, the Alliance is composed of athletes, celebrities, media, expert practitioners, advocates, and everyday heroes.
“Gambling addiction has largely gone unaddressed in US sport, and this is a chance to drive the conversation about the underlying mental health factors that can and often do lead to problem gambling,” noted Kussin.
“This conversation is needed now more than ever as the factors that impact mental health complications have been on the rise, and gambling which can temporarily soothe or even cover up one’s emotional pain, is more accessible than ever. I’m very happy to be playing a part in building Kindbridge.”
Seth Young is a US gambling expert with two decades of experience. He currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of Fifth Street Gaming Digital and Managing Partner at The Strategy Organization, a full-service gaming consultancy.
Young stated: “Kindbridge is a first-of-its-kind solution for the gaming space that offers real, tangible support and services to individuals that may be experiencing behavioral issues related to gambling, in addition to other tremendously credible mental health support initiatives on both an individualized and corporate level.
“It’s time there was a solid solution for this at scale in the US gaming market, and Kindbridge is paving the way.”