The first UK specialist clinic to treat those who are addicted to video games is set to open its door next month.
The NHS-run facility will be able to offer support for both children and adults, and will aim to help those aged between 12 and 25 years old [via Guardian]. General practitioners will be able to refer video game addicts to the facility starting this week, providing that their addictions have been deemed debilitating.
The clinic has been created in response to the growing concerns of video game addiction in young people, with microtransactions and ‘overly addictive games’ like Epic Games’ Fortnite being just a couple of sources of blame.
In a statement, the chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens said: “Health needs are constantly changing, which is why the NHS must never stand still. This new service is a response to an emerging problem, part of the increasing pressures that children and young people are exposed to these days.”
The new clinic has been created as a part of the UK’s National Centre for Behavioural Addictions in London, and will offer in-person support as well as Skype consultations for those in need.
Just a few of the professionals on board for the new project include mental health nurses, therapists, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.
Video game addiction is now recognised by the World Health Organisation, which explains of the phenomenon: “For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.”
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