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 October 2016, recommendation 1.3.19 and Table 1 were updated to remove reference to hip circumference percentile charts.


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

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in September 2021 and we will amend recommendations to clarify that tests of either HbA1c or fasting blood glucose can be used to assess for diabetes in children who are treated with antipsychotics.

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 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. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

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.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)