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 March 2015, we reviewed the evidence for psychological therapies and antidepressants and added to and updated recommendations in sections 1.5 and 1.6.

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?

Next review: 2017

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 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.