NICE guidance for GPs on mental health disorders

NEW guidance from NICE aims to help GPs treat patients with common mental health disorders.

Common mental health disorders: identification and pathways to care makes new recommendations on how to identify and care for people with conditions such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder.

It offers advice on how to assess patients and when and how to refer them for further treatment. There is also advice for managers and commissioners on how to develop referral and care pathways in their local area.

Professor Stephen Pilling, Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, said: “This guideline will ensure that effective treatments are made available to people with depression and a range of anxiety disorders. This is important because, untreated, the outcomes of these conditions are serious.”

RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada supported the new guidance. She said: "GPs can see patients with two, three or four different conditions and while we have a myriad of guidance, it can be difficult to know where to start.

“The new NICE resource is really helpful as it lists the various common mental health disorders all on one page for easy reference and brings together existing guidelines. It also gives advice on what to treat first, for example, if you have a patient with anxiety as well as depression.”

Find out more about the guidance on the NICE website here