Kindbridge announces partnership to support vulnerable gaming population

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Kindbridge is pleased to announce our partnership with Rise Above The Disorder, a non-profit organisation, to raise awareness and amplify the conversation around the significant rise in problematic play at the intersection of gaming and gambling. The collaboration will deliver a support pathway and allow for better data and research on gaming overuse.

Kindbridge is the world’s first teletherapy company focused specifically on delivering high quality, therapist led treatment to people suffering from gaming disorder. Our mission is to build the largest network of mental health treatment providers in the United States who focus on high-quality care for the gaming communities.

The partnership with Rise Above The Disorder, a non-profit organization that provides gamers with access to free mental health services through grant funding, will enable Kindbridge to offer high-quality treatment to the gaming community, notably those who struggle to access robust mental health treatment. Only in 2019 did the World Health Organization recognize gaming disorder for inclusion in the upcoming International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Kindbridge is at the forefront of research, gathering and analyzing large data sets, and lobbying to have gaming disorder included in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the internationally referred diagnostic tool of the American Psychiatric Association.

Global gaming revenue has now eclipsed movie sales revenue and makes the gaming industry one of the most lucrative in the world. The games market is poised for even further prosperity with revenue predicted to hit $180.1bn in 2021. However, a by-product of increased global sales and accessibility of games has resulted in:

  • An estimated 3% of the 214 million gamers in the U.S being at risk of exhibiting disordered gaming behavior; this represents 6,420,000 vulnerable gamers

With the global pandemic still raging, the global esport market is also predicted;

  • to surpass US$1.5 billion by 2023

Total esports viewership is also set to rise to 646 million by 2023. The esports audience is on pace to nearly double over a six-year period, as the 2017 audience stood at 335 million.

Esports professional athletes have been growing more than 40% annually every year since 1998. So what does this mean for mental health of gamers etc .

The unique mental health challenges presented by gaming and the growing esports industry are far less researched and understood than other, more traditional mental health concerns. Kindbridge’s teletherapy expertise and experience in treating disorders will be used to establish ‘virtual best practice’ to improve treatment efficacy. Kindbridge has set up a Scientific Advisor Board to lead this research and add to the growing knowledge in this field.

“The link-up with Rise Above the Disorder will help to drive the much-needed recognition and conversation about the necessity of mental health support for gamers,” said Daniel Umfleet, Kindbridge, CEO. “We are so grateful that both organizations can also help to provide vital data which will help us better understand the player’s journey from initial engagement all the way through their recovery journey as well as support our efforts to have the DSM recognize gaming.”

Jason Docton, CEO of Rise Above the Disorder says: “We’re incredibly honored to welcome Kindbridge as a partner. Rise Above The Disorder has spent the last decade covering the cost of mental health care for tens of thousands of people. It’s our fundamental belief that everyone deserves access to the highest quality mental health care. With Kindbridge, we’re able to confidently refer people to the highest quality of care for problematic gambling and gaming behaviors. This couldn’t have come at a better time with the rise of gambling mechanics and sports wagering becoming more common in the gaming world.

Social networks, games and digital worlds now intersect with ever-increasing complex ways. With gaming touching the lives of most families across the United States, it is crucial that accessible and affordable specialist support pathways are available for vulnerable gamers and their families.

Kindbridge and Rise Above The Disorder will drive increased awareness, research and high-quality specialist mental health services to the underserved population of problematic gamers.

Media inquiries: info@kindbridge.com

Editor’s notes

Kindbridge

Kindbridge is the world’s first teletherapy company focused specifically on the successful treatment of gamblers and gamers struggling with their mental health. Its mission is to build the largest network of mental health treatment providers in the US who focus on high-quality specialist care for these communities. Visit: kindbridge.com

Rise Above The Disorder:

Rise AboveThe Disorder is a non-profit dedicated to removing the two greatest barriers to mental health care: access and affordability. To accomplish this mission, it provides a universal mental health care system to people around the world. Visit: youarerad.org

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