NHS England will offer support for children and young adults seriously addicted to computer games through its first specialist clinic.
The service was launched in response to the growing concerns regarding excessive time spent by children and teenagers playing online games and its effect on their mental health. Gaming disorder was recently pronounced as a mental health condition by the World Health Organization (WHO). The service will have psychiatrists and clinical psychologists working with patients aged 13-25 years.
The new service is under the umbrella of the National Centre for Behavioural Addictions which will also support individuals with Internet addiction. The launch of the service coincides with the children and young person’s gambling addiction service going live.
Simon Stevens, the NHS Chief Executive, 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."