Home > Common mental health disorders: identification and pathways to care.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2011) Common mental health disorders: identification and pathways to care. London: NICE. NICE clinical guideline 123.

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External website: https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/common-menta...

Common mental health disorders, such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder1, may affect up to 15% of the population at any one time. Depression and anxiety disorders can have a lifelong course of relapse and remission. There is considerable variation in the severity of common mental health disorders, but all can be associated with significant long-term disability. For example, depression is estimated to be the second greatest contributor to disability-adjusted life years throughout the developed world. It is also associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality, and is the most common disorder contributing to suicide.

The most common method of treatment for common mental health disorders in primary care is psychotropic medication. This is due to the limited availability of psychological interventions, despite the fact that these treatments are generally preferred by patients.

The intention of this guideline, which is focused on primary care, is to improve access to services (including primary care services themselves), improve identification and recognition, and provide advice on the principles that need to be adopted to develop appropriate referral and local care pathways. It brings together advice from existing guidelines and combines it with new recommendations concerning access, assessment and local care pathways for common mental health disorders.

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