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Kindbridge expands board with three new appointments

30th May 2022 5:28 am GMT

New York-based virtual behavioral health services specialist Kindbridge has appointed three new members to its Board.

The new appointees - Brianne Doura-Schawohl, Eric Kussin and Seth Young - come from a range of backgrounds across the mental health, gambling and gaming sectors, and are committed to making Kindbridge an integral part of the consumer protection system across the US.

"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,” said Kindbridge CEO Daniel Umfleet. “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.”

Doura-Schawohl is founder and CEO of Doura-Schawohl Consulting, and most recently served as vice president of US policy and strategic development for EPIC Risk Management, a global harm prevention consultancy. Prior to that, she was legislative director for the National Council on Problem Gambling.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to make a big impact on a space that has been calling out for support for years," said Doura-Schawohl. "A telehealth solution that organises 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.”

Kussin is a sports executive with almost 20 years’ experience, including roles at the NBA and NHL. After a debilitating mental health crisis he learnt healing practices that enabled him to recover and commit to helping others. In 2017, he launched a non-profit organisation, #SameHere, The Global Mental Health Alliance, which is comprised of athletes, celebrities, media, expert practitioners, advocates who have come together to normalise society’s perception of mental health.

“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," commented 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.”

Young is a gaming expert with nearly two decades’ experience, currently serving as chief strategy officer at Fifth Street Gaming Digital and managing partner at The Strategy Organisation. .

"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 behavioural issues related to gambling, in addition to other tremendously credible mental health support initiatives on both an individualised and corporate level," said Young. "It's time there was a solid solution for this at scale in the US gaming market, and Kindbridge is paving the way."

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