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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Common Mental Health Disorders: The NICE Guideline on Identification and Pathways to Care

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH)

Price: £45.00

College members' price: £40.50

Published: Dec 2011

Format: Paperback + free CD-ROM

Number of pages: 310

ISBN: 9781908020314

Common Mental Health Disorders: The NICE Guideline on Identification and Pathways to Care

Up to 15% of the population may be affected by common mental health disorders at any one time and these can be associated with considerable long-term disability. The common mental health disorders covered here are depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The guideline is aimed at primary care practitioners, managers and commissioners.

The vast majority of depressive and anxiety disorders that are diagnosed are treated in primary care, but recognition of anxiety disorders, in particular, is poor. The focus of this guideline is to improve access to services and recognition of common mental health disorders in adults, and provide advice on the principles that need to be adopted to develop appropriate referral and local care pathways.

Although separate full NICE guidelines already exist for the management of most of these disorders, the importance and uniqueness of this book is in bringing together treatment and referral advice from the existing guidelines and combining it with new recommendations on access, identification, and developing care pathways. A new development method was formulated specifically for this guideline and this is explained.

All the evidence on which the recommendations were based, including the characteristics of studies, are on an accompanying free CD-ROM.


  • Now the only place to obtain this NICE guidance in print.


Readership: Primary care practitioners, managers and commissioners are the main audience, although other mental health professionals will also find it useful.

List of the other NICE mental health guidelines

NICE Mental Health Guidelines

These guidelines from NICE set out clear recommendations, based on the best available evidence, for health care professionals on how to work with and implement physical, psychological and service-level interventions for people with various mental health conditions.


  1. Preface
  2. Common mental health disorders
  3. Method used to develop this guideline
  4. Access to healthcare
  5. Case identification and formal assessment
  6. Further assessment of risk and need for treatment, and routine outcome monitoring
  7. Systems for organising and developing local care pathways
  8. Summary of recommendations
  9. Appendices
  10. References
  11. Glossary
  12. Abbreviations
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