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 member of the Central Ohio Batterers Intervention Program Coalition.
Abdullah Mahmood, LCDC II, SWA, serves as a prevention specialist for Maryhaven’s Gambling Intervention Program. He has been with Maryhaven for three years, first working with clients with opioid use disorder. He was drawn to start working with the gambling prevention team because of the impact of problem gambling on minority communities and youth across Central Ohio.
Abdullah is currently working on both prevention and treatment credentials in gambling so he can better meet the growing need. He is also attending The Ohio State University, where he is pursuing a degree in Social Work. In his remaining free time, he enjoys playing the guitar, playing games and volunteering.
George Hicks is a prevention services specialist with more than 25 years of program development and resources. George coordinates programs in schools and communities for at risk individuals. He works to identify the prevention needs of target populations. He also presents a variety of presentations and trainings at community settings for the gambling program.