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Depression in children and young people: identification and management NICE guidelines
  1. Rebecca Luxton1,
  2. Marinos Kyriakopoulos2,3
  1. 1SLaM, London, UK
  2. 2Bethlem Royal Hospital, SLaM, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebecca Luxton, SLAM, London SE5 9RS, UK; rebecca.luxton{at}

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidelines on depression in children and young people in June 2019.1 The guideline covers the identification and management of depression in young people aged 5–18 years. Based on the stepped-care model, it aims to improve recognition and assessment and promote effective treatments for mild and moderate-to-severe depression. This guideline offers updated guidance following and replacing the previous NICE Clinical Guideline 28 published in 2005.

What do I need to know?

The stepped-care model of depression provides a framework to support identification and access to the most effective interventions based on the needs of the child/young person (see table 1). Diagnosis and subsequent step of care are based on ICD-102 (see table 2).

View this table:
Table 1

The stepped-care model of depression

View this table:
Table 2

Diagnostic criteria adapted from ICD-10

What should I continue to do?

  • The majority of children and young people will be managed on an outpatient or community basis. See box 1 for indications for referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

  • Provide the patient with age-appropriate information covering the nature, course and treatment of depression, …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.