In order to prevent and respond to Internet addiction and smart media addiction in the province, the Gyeongsangnam-do Internet Addiction Rehabilitation Center opened on November 19th.
According to the survey results conducted by the National Information Society Agency, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the rate of the Internet addiction is 4.8 percent, and the number of its addicts is estimated to be approximately 86,000.
Thus, in order to realize the magnitude of the problem and to actively manage Internet addiction, Gyeongsangnam-do applied for the establishment project of the Internet Addiction Rehabilitation Center with the National Information Society Agency on May 2, 2013; it was approved on June 24th. Forty million won from the national budget for the facility establishment and three professional counselors were provided.
Due to proximity and accessibility to interagency support including the Gyeongnam Office of Education and the Gyeongnam Youth Support Headquarters, Gyeongsangnam-do leased the office (141.68㎡) on the first floor of the Gyeongnam Development Institute and established two individual counseling rooms, a group counseling room, and an office.
Once the center opens, it will support preventive education instructors for Internet addiction, cultivate professional Internet addiction counselors, and train school teachers. In addition, for the disabled or multicultural families who cannot visit the center, professional counselors will visit their homes and provide counseling; the counseling call center (1599-0075, 09:00 to18:00 from Monday to Friday) will also be operated. Therefore, the preventive and rehabilitative project for Internet addiction will be promoted in a variety of forms.
“Starting in 2014 when the Gyeongsangnam-do Internet Addiction Rehabilitation Center opens its doors in earnest,” a Gyeongsangnam-do (province) officer says, “the Private-Government Cooperation Promoting Council will be formed with professional counseling and rehabilitation organizations. Thus, the solid foundation seeking prompt support and a systematic resolution plan for Internet addiction will be established.”