Kindbridge, a mental health tele-therapy company specialising in treating gambling and gaming related harms and addictions, today announces the appointment of three new members to the Board – Brianne Doura-Schawohl, Eric Kussin and Seth Young.
The new appointees come from a range of backgrounds across the mental health, gambling and gaming sectors. They are committed to making Kindbridge an integral part of the consumer protection system – at the intersection of state and regulator policy; sport and casino policy; and mental health advocacy in schools and sports teams, from high school to professional athlete level.
Currently, demand for specialist mental health care far outweighs available provision, so vulnerable people and their families are not getting timely access to treatment. Kindbridge is committed to bridging this gap. Its mission is to build the largest network of licensed mental health providers in the US that focus on better access to high-quality online support for those struggling with mental health issues, including gambling and gaming-related harms. The unique background and expertise of the new Board members will be a great asset in helping Kindbridge to deliver its mission.
Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge, said: “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 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 said: “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. 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 said: “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.”
Brianne Doura-Schawohl is 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. Prior to that, she was Legislative Director for the National Council on Problem Gambling. Her experience includes a decade of leadership in advocacy, public policy, government affairs and communications. She has a history of achievements in United States Congressional legislative work, including a diverse portfolio of complex problem gambling policy issues. Doura-Schawohl was named one of the top 100 lobbyists in 2021 by the National Institute of Lobbying & Ethics and was featured as one of the 25 People to Watch in 2022 by Global Gaming Business. She has spoken at many conferences and other public events on gaming policy in the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Doura-Schawohl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington.
Eric Kussin is a professional sports executive with almost 20 years’ experience, including roles at the NBA and NHL. However, a debilitating mental health crisis stopped Eric’s career and life in its tracks for over two and a half years. After many failed treatment modalities, he learnt healing practices that enabled him to recover and commit to helping others. In 2017, he launched a non-profit called: #SameHere, The Global Mental Health Alliance. The Alliance is comprised of athletes, celebrities, media, expert practitioners, advocates, and everyday heroes who have come together to normalize society’s perception of mental health and make it part of everyday conversation. The #SameHere movement has swept across K-12s, college campuses, corporate offices and professional sports teams in the US, and has recently started to expand globally. Kussin also consults for a number of professional sports teams and leagues.
Seth Young is an international gaming expert with nearly two decades’ experience and a successful track record of continuously being at the forefront of new online gaming technologies and strategies. He is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Fifth Street Gaming Digital and Managing Partner at The Strategy Organization, a full-service gaming consultancy. In addition to these roles, Young also serves on the Board of Directors for Aquimo Technologies, EQL Games and is an advisor to numerous start-ups in the gaming sector. He won the Innovation Group’s 2018 Emerging Leaders of Gaming Award and was named on Global Gaming Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list in 2018. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a double minor in Internet Studies and Legal Studies from Brandeis University and attended Harvard Business School for Mergers and Acquisitions: Strategy, Execution and Post-Merger Management.
Five in five people experience a mental health related issue at some point in their lifetime. Left untreated, mental health issues can have a devastating impact on work, education, relationships, and physical and mental health. Kindbridge remotely diagnoses and treats qualified disorders that may arise from poor mental health, with a strong focus on gaming and gambling addiction, and provides access to licensed mental health providers from anywhere in the US.