DraftKings announced Friday it will provide multi-year funding to Kindbridge Research Institute (KRI) and serve as the sole corporate sponsor of KRI's Military Research Associate Program (MRAP), which assists veterans transitioning from military service to pursuing advanced training in public mental health research.
Christine Thurmond, DraftKings' Senior Director, Responsible Gaming, said: "It is a privilege to be able to play a leading role in supporting the next generation of researchers while training veterans for new careers in concert with KRI."
"DraftKings has a deep tradition of supporting the military community as part of its Tech for Heroes initiative and S.E.R.V.E.S. corporate social responsibility program, which has previously provided support for KRI's ongoing research designed to provide a solution to the lack of information about problem gaming among veterans," Thurmond added. "We will continue to seek out ways to give back to service members, veterans, and their families."
Nathan D.L. Smith, Ph.D., KRI's Executive Director, commented: "We are thrilled to team up with DraftKings on this one-of-a-kind program. At KRI, we believe that no one understands the mental health struggles of veterans better than veterans themselves."
"This program provides training and support for transitioning service members into public mental health professionals. The ultimate goal is to ensure those who served in the armed forces have a voice in the discussion of veteran mental health for generations to come," added Smith.
Designed to increase the number of veterans trained to work in mental health research and treatment, the program lends veterans transitioning from military service valuable support in key areas, including academic skill building, such as academic writing, literature search, and review, study design, and execution, as well as academic and research resume building, which includes publishing peer-reviewed articles.
Participants will dedicate two years to the KRI program in order to develop the advanced training in mental health research necessary for continuing their education at the graduate level; in the first year, participants are expected to publish a minimum of one academic paper in a peer-reviewed journal and present a poster or speak at one academic conference.
In 2021, DraftKings announced a multi-year financial commitment to KRI for a research initiative designed to provide a solution to the lack of information about problem gaming among veterans, with the ultimate goal of advancing evidence-based research in this area and improving the lives of impacted veterans.