Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust is intending to launch the first center that aims to treat internet addiction.
Talking to PharmaTimes, a spokesperson for the Trust confirmed that plans are underway to offer treatment to young people addicted to gaming, at The Centre for Internet Disorders.
While gaming will be the initial focus, it is hoped that services will eventually be extended to cover other internet addictions.
“Gaming disorder is finally getting the attention it deserves. The distress and harm it can cause is extreme and I feel a moral duty on behalf of the NHS to provide the evidence based treatment these young people and their families need,” psychiatrist Henrietta Bowden-Jones, the clinic’s founder, told the Guardian.
“We are unlikely to witness an epidemic of young players with an addiction to gaming but for the ones who do struggle, the Centre for Internet Disorders will be a life-changer.”
Funding will presumably come from the NHS, and possibly other sources, but a final green light has not yet been given, the Trust spokesperson stressed.
The news follows last week’s announcement by the World Health Organisation that gaming disorder has now been categorised as a mental health condition.