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New NHS clinic with mental health nurses will help young gaming addicts

NHS England has announced a new service to help young people addicted to computer games amid concerns that it affects mental health
Picture shows a teenager playing videogames in his bedroom. A new NHS clinic with specialist mental health nurses will help young people addicted to gaming.

NHS England has announced a new service to help young people addicted to computer games amid concerns that it affects mental health

Specialist mental health nurses will be part of a new NHS service to help children and young people who are addicted to computer games .

The service will accept referrals of young people aged 13-25 from across England, and patients can attend their appointments via Skype or in person.

Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists will work alongside nurses in the service, which is part of the National Centre for Behavioural Addictions based in London.

NHS will also opens an additional 14 adult gambling clinics

Tuesdays announcement comes amid growing concerns about the amount of time children and

NHS England has announced a new service to help young people addicted to computer games amid concerns that it affects mental health

Picture shows a teenager playing videogames in his bedroom. A new NHS clinic with specialist mental health nurses will help young people addicted to gaming.
Picture: iStock

Specialist mental health nurses will be part of a new NHS service to help children and young people who are addicted to computer games.

The service will accept referrals of young people aged 13-25 from across England, and patients can attend their appointments via Skype or in person.

Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists will work alongside nurses in the service, which is part of the National Centre for Behavioural Addictions based in London.

NHS will also opens an additional 14 adult gambling clinics

Tuesday’s announcement comes amid growing concerns about the amount of time children and young people spend playing online games and the effect it can have on their mental health.

The World Health Organization classified gaming disorder as a mental health condition last year, describing it as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes precedence over other life interests.

NHS England said in its announcement that in addition to the opening of the new children and young people’s services, up to 14 new adult NHS gambling clinics are being opened nationwide. The Northern Gambling Service clinic in Leeds, the first outside London, opened last month.

‘Gaming firms should introduce safeguards to reduce the burden on NHS’

The announcement of the new NHS service comes after the government revealed in its NHS Long Term Plan that it was allocating £2.3 billion to mental health services, including children’s mental health.

Responding to the announcement, RCN professional lead for children and young people Fiona Smith said: ‘As technology becomes more accessible and more advanced, it’s unsurprising that more young people are potentially being negatively affected by excessive screen time to the point where it effects their daily lives.

‘The damage of addiction of any kind goes beyond the child or young person, causing distress to parents, families and friends.’

Ms Smith said gaming firms should introduce safeguards to reduce the burden on the health service.


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