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Brightline Continues Rapid Expansion With New Autism Spectrum Disorder Services, Programs for LGBTQ and BIPOC Youth

Brightline Continues Rapid Expansion With New Autism Spectrum Disorder Services, Programs for LGBTQ and BIPOC Youth

Company also launches Clinical Advisory Board of key industry leaders to help build culturally responsive programs for diverse populations

PR Newswire

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of its recent nationwide expansion of behavioral health support and coaching programs for families, Brightline announced today it will be launching services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in early 2022. The company also announced a Clinical Advisory Board as it expands resources and programs for supporting diverse populations — including for children and teenagers who identify as LGBTQ and/or BIPOC.

The company's ASD, LGBTQ, and BIPOC-focused offerings will be built to address the unique needs of these communities.

Brightline's announcement comes at an urgent time for families. In a recent survey of parents of children with ASD, as many as 64% said COVID-related disruptions have severely or moderately impacted their children's symptoms and behaviors.

The pandemic has also exacerbated behavioral health needs among LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) and BIPOC  (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) youth. Recent surveys have found that 70% of LGBTQ youth reported poor mental health during COVID and BIPOC youth have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The company's ASD, LGBTQ, and BIPOC-focused offerings — including on-demand digital content and virtual coaching programs — will be built to address the unique needs of these communities, and personalized to work best for every family.

"Delivering world-class behavioral health care for kids, adolescents, and teens requires understanding their lived experiences, addressing underserved needs, and driving extensive innovation in programs to meet those needs," said Naomi Allen, co-founder and CEO of Brightline. "Expanding our programs to serve youth with ASD and those who identify as LGBTQ and/or BIPOC — driven by our care teams and our Clinical Advisory Board — is a key part of bringing support to families across the country."

Alongside Brightline's clinical leadership team, the Clinical Advisory Board will help to guide Brightline on its mission to bring affordable, evidence-based behavioral and mental health services to children, teenagers, and families nationwide. This group convenes leading experts who have combined decades of experience in clinical psychology, therapy, counseling, and social work supporting diverse populations. Charter advisory board members include:

  • PALOMA WOO, LCSW, a licensed social worker and Senior Crisis Services Manager at The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
  • CHINWE WILLIAMS, PhD, LPC, a licensed and board-certified therapist and owner of Meaningful Solutions Counseling & Consulting who works with K-12 schools, non-profit, faith-based, and corporate work settings to address youth mental health.
  • MATT BOONE, MSW, a social worker, writer, and speaker who is currently an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
  • CLARE PURVIS, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and Senior Director of Behavioral Science at Headspace, a global leader in the field of digital health and wellbeing.

Brightline's ASD program was designed with Brightline clinicians — led by Dr. Nonye Nwosu, PhD, a developmental psychologist, with contribution from Chief Psychiatric Officer David Grodberg, MD, MS and speech language pathologists Julie Marcel, MS, CCC-SLP and Meyya Muthu, MS, CCC-SLP —- in partnership with Dr. Sally Rogers, Ph.D, of University of California, Davis Health and Thea Shukaliak-Neufeld, OTD, OTR/L. These industry leaders have expertise in providing family-centered collaborative care to children and families experiencing the daily challenges of living with autism.

The ASD program, launching in early 2022, will focus on early intervention, structured coaching programs delivered by video visit with parents and caregivers, and on-demand resources to support families between sessions and beyond. Well-documented research demonstrates the effectiveness of early intervention programs involving parents and caregivers, such as Brightline's, on reducing the symptoms of autism and overall utilization of services. Programs like Brightline's can serve as a lifeline to families awaiting an autism diagnosis or treatment, and can support families during autism treatment with adjacent challenges.

"Families of children with ASD need accessible, professional advocates that can provide evidenced-based and concrete strategies for activities of daily living," said Shukaliak-Neufield. "Supporting parents of children with ASD is paramount to the overall well-being of the family unit, and coaches at Brightline are the link to future multidisciplinary and coordinated care, within Brightline, where a child's needs are fluidly met by the appropriate professionals, even as needs come and go."

Expanded content and coaching programs for youth who identify as LGBTQ and/or BIPOC will be available by the end of 2021. Brightline says this is a key part of its work to build culturally responsive, affordable care in specific focus areas tailored to serve the needs of working families.

"We're thrilled to partner with these first members of Brightline's Clinical Advisory Board and launch expanded support that addresses the real and growing needs of ASD, LGBTQ, and BIPOC youth and their families," said Peter Antall, Chief Medical Officer at Brightline. "These uniquely qualified leaders will propel us forward as we work to transform the way pediatric behavioral health is delivered, making excellent care available and affordable for all and improving outcomes for families across the country."

About Brightline

Founded in 2019, Brightline is the first comprehensive behavioral health solution built specifically to care for children, teenagers, and their families across a range of common challenges. With multidisciplinary care teams, a family-focused approach, evidence-based care delivery, and innovative technology, Brightline is able to support families with whatever challenges they're facing and help them thrive long-term. Founded by leading digital health entrepreneurs Naomi Allen and Giovanni Colella, MD and backed by leading investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), Oak HC/FT, and Threshold Ventures, Brightline is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA and expanding nationwide. Learn more at

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Amanda D'Ambra, Senior Director of Marketing

SOURCE Brightline

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