General adult mental health


Anxiety NICE Clinical Guideline [CG113] - Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder in adults: management (updated 2019){This guideline covers the care and treatment of people aged 18 and over with generalised anxiety disorder (chronic anxiety) or panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia or panic attacks). It aims to help people achieve complete relief of symptoms (remission), which is associated with better functioning and a lower likelihood of relapse.

Anxiety NICE Quality Standard [QS53] – Anxiety disorders (2014){This quality standard covers identifying and managing anxiety disorders in adults, young people and children in primary, secondary and community care. It covers a range of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.

Bipolar disorder NICE Clinical Guideline [CG185] – Bipolar disorder: assessment and management (updated 2020){This guideline covers recognising, assessing and treating bipolar disorder in children, young people and adults. The recommendations apply to bipolar I, bipolar II, mixed affective and rapid cycling disorders. It aims to improve access to treatment and quality of life in people with bipolar disorder.

Common mental health problems NICE Clinical Guideline [CG123] – Common mental health problems: identification and pathways to care (2011){This guideline covers care for people aged 18 and over with common mental health problems, with a focus on primary care. It aims to improve access to services for adults and how mental health problems are identified and assessed, and makes recommendations on local care pathways.

Depression NICE Clinical Guideline [CG90] - Depression in adults: recognition and management (2009){This guideline covers identifying and managing depression in adults aged 18 years and older, in primary and secondary care. It aims to improve care for people with depression by promoting improved recognition and treatment. NB New guideline due for publication in May 2022

Depression NICE Clinical Guideline [CG91] - Depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem: recognition and management{This guideline covers identifying, treating and managing depression in people aged 18 and over who also have a chronic physical health problem such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. It aims to improve the care of people with a long-term physical health problem, which can cause or exacerbate depression.

Depression NICE Quality Standard [QS8] – Depression in adults{This quality standard covers the clinical assessment and management of depression in adults (aged 18 and over). It includes adults with persistent subthreshold depressive symptoms or mild, moderate or severe depression, including those who also have a chronic physical health problem.

OCD and BDD NICE Clinical Guideline [CG31] – Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body-dysmorphic disorder: treatment (2005){This guideline covers recognising, assessing, diagnosing and treating obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder in adults, young people and children (aged 8 years and older). It includes recommendations on how families and carers may be able to support people with either of these conditions, and how they can get support for themselves.

Personality disorders NICE Clinical Guideline [CG77] - Antisocial personality disorder: prevention and management (updated 2013){This guideline covers principles for working with people with antisocial personality disorder, including dealing with crises (crisis resolution). It aims to help people with antisocial personality disorder manage feelings of anger, distress, anxiety and depression, and to reduce offending and antisocial behaviour.

Personality disorders NICE Clinical Guideline [CG78] - Borderline personality disorder: recognition and management (2009){This guideline covers recognising and managing borderline personality disorder. It aims to help people to manage feelings of distress, anxiety, worthlessness and anger, and to maintain stable and close relationships with others.

Personality disorders NICE Quality Standard [QS88] - Personality disorders: borderline and antisocial (2015){This quality standard covers assessing and managing borderline and antisocial personality disorders.

PTSD NICE Guideline [NG116] - Post-traumatic stress disorder (2018){This guideline covers recognising, assessing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children, young people and adults. It aims to improve quality of life by reducing symptoms of PTSD such as anxiety, sleep problems and difficulties with concentration. Recommendations also aim to raise awareness of the condition and improve coordination of care.

Self-harm NICE Quality Standard [QS34] – Self-harm (2013){This quality standard covers the initial management of self-harm and the provision of longer-term support for children and young people (aged 8 to 18) and adults (aged 18 and over) who self-harm.

Self-harm NICE Clinical Guideline [CG133] – Self-harm in over-8s: long term management (2011){This guideline covers the longer-term psychological treatment and management of self-harm in people aged 8 and over. It aims to improve the quality of care and support for people who self harm and covers both single and recurrent episodes of self-harm.

Social anxiety NICE Clinical Guideline [CG159] – Social anxiety disorder: recognition, assessment and treatment (2013){This guideline covers recognising, assessing and treating social anxiety disorder (also known as ‘social phobia’) in children and young people (from school age to 17 years) and adults.

Useful resources

Early Detection of Emerging Psychosis (PDF file, 564 KB) - This fact sheet offers guidance for GPs on recognition of early psychosis – the most common age for development of psychosis is 16-30, but 5% are 15 or younger.

General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) - This screening tool is useful for assessing any potential anxiety disorder and generating a score which can be helpful in assessing treatment response.

Hub of Hope - A directory of local services for support with a wide variety of mental health and related issues.

Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) - The PHQ-9 is helpful as a screening tool as well as quantifying depressive symptoms in the assessment and monitoring of the condition.

National Centre for Mental Health - They offer a ‘Medication Handy Chart’ which can be used as a quick reference guide for clinicians when discussing mental health medication with patients. The chart contains information on hundreds of common mental health medications, including their use, effects and side effects. Information is impartial and has been written and checked by expert pharmacists. It can be ordered by emailing

Patient and carer information

Andy’s Man Club - Mutual support, facilitated talking groups every Monday for men who have faced or are facing a tough time.

Anxiety UK - Anxiety UK delivers a variety of services, including therapy, a helpline, courses, groups and webinars.

Bipolar Education Programme Cymru - BEPC is a psychoeducation programme that aims to improve the quality of life for people with bipolar disorder. It enables individuals to better manage their condition by understanding the symptoms of bipolar disorder, identifying their triggers and monitoring their mood to help them stay as well as possible. It includes a useful postcard on helping people to recognise illness and stay well.

CALL Helpline Wales - They can be contacted for mental health support and advice via both telephone and text message.

CALM - The Campaign Against Living Miserably movement predominantly focuses on support for men, but this is not exclusive. There are a multitude of help guides on their site, as well as a helpline and webchat.

Living Life to the Full - Free, CBT-based, online courses covering low mood, stress and resilience.

Mental Health Foundation – Rethinking Rest  - The Rethinking Rest Guide looks at the different types of rest, why rest is important and gives suggestions on how to achieve good quality rest for the whole body, mind and soul.

Mind - The website has lots of information but additionally there is an information line (0300 123 3393) or email

There is a legal line (0300 466 6463)  for free advice on mental health related law, including mental capacity, community care and discrimination.

Mind – Talking to your GP about your mental health - This is the ‘Find the Words’ outreach by Mind designed to support people in talking to their GP about their mental health. Information is available in a short animation or a downloadable format in a variety of languages.

NHS England - The NHS website has a multitude of resources, including self-quizzes for anxiety and depression, dealing with life events and self-help strategies.

NHS Inform - NHS inform is Scotland's health information service. It offers quality assured health and care information via a website and phone service. This section is on identifying, treating and managing mental health problems and disorders. It includes self-help guides on a wide variety of conditions.

NI Direct - Resources for people affected by mental health in Northern Ireland.

No Panic - This charity has a variety of information on anxiety and panic attacks, as well as recorded breathing exercises and a panic helpline.

OCD UK - This charity work for children and adults, providing advice, information, and support services for those affected by OCD.

Penumbra - Penumbra supports adults and young people in Scotland with mental health problems. They offer services that provide practical and emotional support.

Quarriers - This Scottish charity specialise in supporting adults affected by learning disabilities,     complex physical disabilities, acquired brain injury and autism.

Reading Well for Mental Health - This is part of the ‘books on prescription’ scheme and p rovides helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions, or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs.

Recovery College Online - Providing a range of online educational courses and resources to people who might be struggling with mental health issues, families, friends, mental health workers and anyone else who might be interested.

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Information for patients, carers, family and friends relating to mental health problems and disorders.

Rethink Mental Illness - The Rethink advice and information line (0808 801 0525) offers practical advice on treatments and life issues that may present challenges such as money or the judicial system. This support is also available via webchat or email at

There is also a section on how to access mental health support in general.

Scottish Association for Mental Health - This section on going to see your GP helps patients understand how they can communicate effectively and make the best of their appointment, recognising that seeking help for mental health conditions can be difficult.

Self-Compassion - Information on self-compassion and guided practices and exercises.

SupportLine - SupportLine describe their work as offering confidential emotional support to children, young adults and adults by telephone, email and post. They aim to develop healthy, positive coping strategies, inner strength and increased self esteem to encourage moving forward with life.

Women’s Wellbeing Club - Women’s Wellbeing Club is a peer to peer community support group  run for women by volunteers at a variety of sites across England and Scotland.

Further information and reading

British Association for Psychopharmacology – Insomnia (2019) - This detailed guideline from the BAP contains useful snippets for primary care (especially pages 5-6 of the PDF, and the text in bold throughout the document) on the assessment and treatment options – including non-pharmacological measures – of sleep problems.

British Medical Journal – Early Psychosis for the Non-Specialist Doctor (2017) BMJ 2017;357:j4578 - This article, podcast and infographic illustrate what you need to know as a GP in the early detection and management of psychosis.

DeSTRESS Project - These materials aim to support GPs working with low-income patients experiencing mental distress that is largely psychosocial in nature.

RCGP Top Tips – Insomnia - The RCGP have produced a 'Top Tips: Insomnia in Adults' leaflet to help clinicians and primary health professionals treat and manage insomnia in adults.

Recovery College Online - Providing a range of online educational courses and resources to people who might be struggling with mental health issues, families, friends, mental health workers and anyone else who might be interested.

University of Reading – Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT - This RCGP accredited course is designed to help improve your understanding of depression and anxiety and find out more about an effective and evidence-based treatment: CBT.