Maryhaven’s problem gambling experts provide prevention, intervention, and treatment services to individuals and families throughout Central Ohio who are experiencing the effects of pathological gambling (often referred to as gambling addiction). The team also offers prevention outreach to those who want to learn more or may be “at risk” for gambling addiction.
With several years of combined academic training and extensive work in different areas of the mental health community, these experts have a passion for helping people learn how to cope and set themselves free from gambling.
Bruce Jones is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and a Nationally-Certified Gambling Counselor Level II who has worked for Maryhaven since 2000. Since the inception of Maryhaven’s Gambling Intervention Program, Bruce has been working with individuals, family members, and communities as the Administrative Coordinator. He saw the need for gambling services in Central Ohio in 2009 and asked Maryhaven to apply for a private grant from the Columbus Foundation to target help to those struggling with gambling addiction. The state then supplied funding after his vision was verified with the amount of clients seeking services that first year.
Bruce also serves on the Treatment Committee for the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board which is addressing changes to licensures and certifications to better help gamblers and their families. He is also a board member on the Ohio Chemical Dependency and Professionals Board’s Treatment subcommittee and Problem Gambling Network of Ohio.
Abdullah Mahmood, LSW, LCDC III-GAMB, OCPSA, first started working with clients with opioid use disorder at Maryhaven, four years ago. He has worked extensively in prevention, treatment, administration, as well as having direct services with clients on MAT, clients with substance use disorder, and clients with disordered gambling.
Abdullah attended Columbus State Community College for his associate’s degree and attended The Ohio State University, where he recently completed a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. He is currently working towards his master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Cleveland State University. In his free time, he enjoys playing the guitar, playing video games and volunteering in the community.
Janet Thode, M.A. Education, OCPS, serves as Maryhaven’s Gambling Prevention Coordinator. Prior to joining Maryhaven, Janet spent 9 years working as a Prevention Specialist with agencies in Delaware, Licking and Franklin Counties. Most recently with Syntero, Inc. Janet worked with classroom teachers to present information on the effects of drugs and alcohol on the developing brain and body. Janet also presented information on various social emotional learning topics.
At Syntero, Inc. Janet also served as Youth Diversion Education Program Coordinator, working with youth referred from the juvenile court system as an alternative to criminal charges. Janet also spent 22 years working as a teacher in grades K-2.
Janet has her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from The Ohio State University, and a graduate certificate in substance use prevention from the University of Cincinnati. In her spare time Janet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.