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

NICE Clinical Guidelines

The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) is one of seven centres established by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to develop guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS in England and Wales.

Established in 2001, the NCCMH is responsible for developing mental health guidelines, and is a partnership between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society.

What can guidelines achieve?

The aims of guidelines are to bring about genuine and lasting improvements in patient care.
Well-constructed and up-to-date clinical guidelines:

  • provide recommendations for the treatment and care of people by healthcare professionals;
  • can be used to develop standards to assess the clinical practice of individual healthcare professionals;
  • can be used in the education and training of healthcare professionals;
  • can help patients to make informed decisions, and improve communication between the patient and healthcare professional.

In addition to contributing to the changes described above, clinical guidelines should also raise the profile of research with both practitioners and the public.

How are guidelines developed?

Guidelines are based on the best available research evidence. The NCCMH establishes a Guideline Development Group (GDG) for each guideline, consisting of health and social care professionals, lay representatives, and technical experts. The GDG develops each guideline by assessing the available evidence and deriving from it a series of clinical recommendations. Research recommendations are also developed which highlight gaps in the evidence to inform future research in this area.

For further information on how guidelines are produced, please visit the NICE website or the NCCMH website.

Hard copies some of the full guidelines are available from RCPsych Publications.  NICE guidelines cannot be obtained in print from any other source.
(Please note, full guidelines have not been published in this book format since 2014.)

What guidelines have been developed or are under development?


Guidelines under development Estimated date of completion
Violence: the short term management of disturbed/violent behaviour in  in-patient psychiatric settings and emergency departments 2015 tbc
Antenatal and postnatal mental health (update) 2014 tbc
Bipolar Disorder (Update): the management of bipolar disorder in adults, children and young people June 2014
Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: treatment and management February 2014
Autism: the management and support of children and young people on the autism spectrum August 2014


Full guideline title Publication date (full book) LINKS to NICE web page
Social Anxiety Disorder Dec 2013 NICE page
Antisocial Behaviour and Conduct Disorders in Children and Young People Sep 2013 NICE page
Psychosis and Schizophrenia in Children and Young People Aug 2013 NICE page
Autism in Adults Nov  2012 NICE page
Service User Experience in Adult Mental Health June 2012 NICE page
Self-Harm (Longer Term Management) May 2012 NICE page
Common Mental Health Disorders Dec 2011 NICE page
Psychosis with Coexisting Substance Misuse Nov 2011 NICE page
Alcohol-Use Disorders July 2011 NlCE page

Generalised Anxiety Disorder in Adults

June 2011

NICE page

Depression in Adults with a Chronic Physical Health Problem

Dec 2010

NICE page

Depression (Update)

Aug 2010

NICE page

Schizophrenia (Update)

April 2010

NICE page

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Jan 2010

NICE page

Borderline Personality Disorder

Sep 2009

NICE page

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

March 2009

NICE page

Drug Misuse: Opioid Detoxification

Feb 2008

NICE page

Drug Misuse: Psychosocial Interventions

March 2008

NICE page

Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health

Out of print

(update available, see above)


June 2007

NICE page 

Bipolar Disorder

July 2006

NICE page 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Nov 2005

NICE page 

Depression in Children and Young People

Out of print

NICE page  

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Mar 2005

NICE page 


Out of print

(update available,
see above)


Jul 2004

NICE page 

Eating Disorders

Jan 2004

NICE page 


Out of print

(update available,
see above)

Guideline Implementation

In order for guidelines to be used effectively in practice, their systematic implementation is crucial. Although the ultimate responsibility for implementation lies with each individual NHS organisation, NICE and the NCCMH recognise that this is a significant challenge for the NHS. As such, NICE have developed a programme for supporting implementation of all their guidance.

 The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, through both the CRTU and CORE, also supports a significant programme of implementation and evaluation of mental health guidelines.

There are also some NICE quality standards which have been developed for a selected list of mental health issues.

For more information on the guidelines and their development, please contact Head of NCCMH Christine Sealey on

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