This guideline covers identifying and managing depression in children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years. Based on the stepped care model, it aims to improve recognition and assessment and promote effective treatments for mild, moderate and severe depression.

In September 2017, we updated recommendation 1.1.5.4 to clarify the training needed for therapists. We also updated recommendation 1.4.1.1 to delete reference to a preferred questionnaire as this is no longer relevant. Footnotes 3, 5 and 6 were also updated to clarify the advice on marketing authorisation and licensed indications.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Commissioners and providers
  • Children and young people with depression and their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We reviewed the evidence in August 2017 and we will plan an update of the recommendations on psychological therapy for treatment of depression in children and young people.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline was previously called depression in children and young people: identification and management in primary, community and secondary care.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.