This guideline covers recognising and managing psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people. It aims to improve early recognition of psychosis and schizophrenia so that children and young people can be offered the treatment and care they need to live with the condition.

In May 2016, a new recommendation was added on providing information about olanzapine when choosing antipsychotic medication for children and young people with a first episode of psychosis.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals working with children and young people who have, or might have, psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Children and young people who have, or might have, psychosis and schizophrenia, their families and carers

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.

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