New NICE guidance on mental health

Millions of people experiencing common mental health disorders are to benefit from the introduction of new guidelines, it is hoped. Brought in by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the measures aim to enable GPs to provide speedy and cost-effective treatment to such individuals.

The new guidelines focus on primary care and make recommendations on how patients are assessed, as well as suggestions for when and how they might be referred to other services for treatment.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Stephen Pilling - who is Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and Director of the Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness at University College London - said the move will ensure effective care is made available to those with depression and anxiety disorders.

"This is important because, untreated, the outcomes of these conditions are serious. For example, depression is the commonest cause of suicide in this country," he added.

NICE is an independent organisation that seeks to provide national guidance with regard to promoting good health across Britain.