NICE social care mental health guidance

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance and advice services for health, public health and social care professionals, and has lots of useful information for social workers.

Charlotte Goulding, Social Work Lead at NICE, has summarised the relevant information for mental health social workers and Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs), under key topic areas.

  • Workplace health: management practices - NICE guideline [NG13] Published date: June 2015 Last updated: March 2016.

    This guideline covers how to improve the health and wellbeing of employees, with a focus on organisational culture and the role of line managers.

  • Healthy workplaces: improving employee mental and physical health and wellbeing - Quality standard [QS147] Published date: March 2017. 
    This quality standard covers the health and wellbeing of all employees, including their mental health. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. It does not cover managing long-term sickness absence.

  • Mental wellbeing at work - Public health guideline [PH22] Published date: November 2009.

    This guideline covers how to create the right conditions to support mental wellbeing at work. The aim is to promote a culture of participation, equality and fairness in the workplace based on open communication and flexible working.
  • Decision-making and mental capacity - NICE guideline [NG108] Published date: October 2018.

    This guideline covers decision-making in people 16 years and over who may lack capacity now or in the future. It aims to help health and social care practitioners support people to make their own decisions where they have the capacity to do so. It also helps practitioners to keep people who lack capacity at the centre of the decision-making process.

  • Mental wellbeing of older people in care homes - NICE quality standard [QS50] Published date: December 2013. 

    This quality standard covers the mental wellbeing of older people (aged 65 years and over) receiving care in care homes (including residential and nursing accommodation, day care and respite care). It focuses on support for people to improve their mental wellbeing so that they can stay as well and independent as possible. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
  • Domestic violence and abuse: multi-agency working - Public health guideline [PH50] Published date: February 2014. 

    This guideline covers planning and delivering multi-agency services for domestic violence and abuse. It aims to help identify, prevent and reduce domestic violence and abuse among women and men in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, and among young people.

  • Domestic violence and abuse - Quality standard [QS116] Published date: February 2016.

    This quality standard covers services for domestic violence and abuse in adults and young people (aged 16 and over). It includes identifying and supporting people experiencing domestic violence or abuse, as well as support for those who carry it out. It also covers children and young people (under 16) who are affected by domestic violence or abuse that is not carried out against them. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
  • Mental health problems in people with learning disabilities: prevention, assessment and management - NICE guideline [NG54] Published date: September 2016. 

    This guideline covers preventing, assessing and managing mental health problems in people with learning disabilities in all settings (including health, social care, education, and forensic and criminal justice). It aims to improve assessment and support for mental health conditions, and help people with learning disabilities, and their families and carers, to be involved in their care.

  • Learning disability: identifying and managing mental health problems - NICE quality standard [QS142] Published date: January 2017. 

    This quality standard covers the prevention, assessment and management of mental health problems in people with learning disabilities in all settings (including health, social care, education, and forensic and criminal justice). It also covers family members, carers and care workers.

  • Challenging behaviour and learning disabilities: prevention and interventions for people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges - NICE guideline [NG11] Published date: May 2015.

    This guideline covers interventions and support for children, young people and adults with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges. It highlights the importance of understanding the cause of behaviour that challenges and performing thorough assessments so that steps can be taken to help people change their behaviour and improve their quality of life. The guideline also covers support and intervention for family members or carers.

  • Learning disability: behaviour that challenges - NICE quality standard [QS101] Published date: October 2015 Last updated: July 2019.

    This quality standard covers care and support and services for children, young people and adults with a learning disability (or a learning disability and autism) and behaviour that challenges, and their families and carers. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

  • Learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges: service design and delivery - NICE guideline [NG93] Published date: March 2018.

    This guideline covers services for children, young people and adults with a learning disability (or autism and a learning disability) and behaviour that challenges. It aims to promote a lifelong approach to supporting people and their families and carers, focusing on prevention and early intervention and minimising inpatient admissions.

  • Care and support of people growing older with learning disabilities - NICE guideline (NG96) Published date: April 2018.

    This guideline covers care and support for adults with learning disabilities as they grow older. It covers identifying changing needs, planning for the future, and delivering services including health, social care and housing. It aims to support people to access the services they need as they get older.

  • Learning disability: care and support of people growing older - NICE quality standard (QS187) Published date: July 2019.

    This quality standard covers identifying, assessing and regularly reviewing the care and support needs of people with a learning disability as they grow older. People with a learning disability have many of the same age-related health and social care needs as other people, but this quality standard focuses on the specific challenges associated with their learning disability. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

  • Mental health of adults in contact with the criminal justice system - NICE quality standard [QS163] Published date: February 2018.

    This quality standard covers recognising, assessing and managing mental health problems in adults (aged 18 and over) who are in contact with the criminal justice system (this includes police contact, court and prison custody, street triage, liaison and diversion services, and probation services). It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
  • Mental health of adults in contact with the criminal justice system -NICE guideline [NG66] Published date: March 2017.

    This guideline covers assessing, diagnosing and managing mental health problems in adults (aged 18 and over) who are in contact with the criminal justice system. It aims to improve mental health and wellbeing in this population by establishing principles for assessment and management and promoting more coordinated care planning and service organisation across the criminal justice system.
  • Common mental health problems: identification and pathways to care - Clinical guideline [CG123] Published date: May 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.

  • Anxiety disorders - NICE quality standard [QS53] Published date: February 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. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

  • Borderline personality disorder: recognition and managementNICE guideline [CG78] Published date: January 2009.

    This guideline covers recognising and managing borderline personality disorder. It aims to help people with borderline personality disorder to manage feelings of distress, anxiety, worthlessness and anger, and to maintain stable and close relationships with others.

  • Personality disorders: borderline and antisocial - NICE quality standard [QS88] Published date: June 2015.

    This quality standard covers assessing and managing borderline and antisocial personality disorders. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

  • Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management - NICE guideline [CG178] Published date: March 2014.

    This guideline covers recognising and managing psychosis and schizophrenia in adults. It aims to improve care through early recognition and treatment, and by focusing on long-term recovery. It also recommends checking for coexisting health problems and providing support for family members and carers.

  • Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults - NICE quality standard [QS80] Published date: February 2015.

    This quality standard covers treating and managing psychosis and schizophrenia in adults (aged 18 and over) in primary, secondary and community care. It also includes support for the families and carers of people with psychosis or schizophrenia. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

  • Bipolar disorder: assessment and management - NICE guideline [CG185] Published date: September 2014 Last updated: April 2018.

    This guideline covers recognising, assessing and treating bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) 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.

  • Bipolar disorder in adults - NICE quality standard [QS95] Published date: July 2015.

    This quality standard covers recognising, assessing and managing bipolar disorder in adults (aged 18 and over) in primary and secondary care. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

  • Depression in adults: recognition and management - NICE guideline [CG90] Published date: April 2018.

    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.

  • Self-harm in over 8s: short-term management and prevention of recurrence - NICE guideline [CG16] Published date: July 2014 (Currently being merged and updated with CG133).

    This guideline covers the short-term management and prevention of self-harm in people aged 8 yearss and older, regardless of whether accompanied by mental illness. It covers the first 48 hours following an act of self-harm but does not address the longer-term psychiatric care of people who self-harm.

  • Self-harm in over 8s: long-term management - Clinical guideline [CG133] Published date: November 2011 (Currently being merged and updated with CG16).

    This guideline covers the longer-term psychological treatment and management of self-harm in people aged 8 years and older. 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.

  • Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia nd their carersNICE guideline [NG97] Published date: June 2018.

    This guideline covers diagnosing and managing dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease). It aims to improve care by making recommendations on training staff and helping carers to support people living with dementia.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorderNICE guideline [NG116] Published date: December 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.
  • Coexisting severe mental illness (psychosis) and substance misuse: assessment and management in healthcare settings - NICE guideline [CH120] Published date: March 2011. 

    This guideline covers assessing and managing people aged 14 years and over with coexisting severe mental illness (psychosis) and substance misuse. It aims to help healthcare professionals guide people with psychosis with coexisting substance misuse to stabilise, reduce or stop their substance misuse, to improve treatment adherence and outcomes, and to enhance their lives.

  • Coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse: community health and social care services - NICE guideline [NG58] Published date: November 2016. 

    This guideline covers how to improve services for people aged 14 years and over who have been diagnosed as having coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse. The aim is to provide a range of coordinated services that address people’s wider health and social care needs, as well as other issues such as employment and housing.
  • Coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse  - NICE quality standard [QS188] Published date: August 2019.

    This quality standard covers the assessment, management and care provided for people aged 14 years and over who have coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
  • Mental wellbeing of older people in care homes - NICE quality standard [QS50] Published date: December 2013. 

    This quality standard covers the mental wellbeing of older people (aged 65 and over) receiving care in care homes (including residential and nursing accommodation, day care and respite care). It focuses on support for people to improve their mental wellbeing so that they can stay as well and independent as possible. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
  • Preventing suicide in community and custodial settings - NICE guideline [NG105] Published date: September 2018. 

    This guideline covers ways to reduce suicide and help people bereaved or affected by suicides. It aims to:

    • help local services work more effectively together to prevent suicide
    • identify and help people at risk
    • prevent suicide in places where it is currently more likely.

      It does not cover national strategies, general mental wellbeing, or areas covered by other NICE guidance such as self-harm or mental health conditions.

  • Suicide prevention - NICE quality standard [QS189] Published date: September 2019.

    This quality standard covers ways to reduce suicide and help people bereaved or affected by suicide. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
  • Supporting adult carers - NICE guideline [NG150] Published date: January 2020.

    This guideline covers support for adults (aged 18 years and over) who provide unpaid care for anyone aged 16 years or over with health or social care needs. It aims to improve the lives of carers by helping health and social care practitioners identify people who are caring for someone and give them the right information and support. It covers carers’ assessments, practical, emotional and social support and training, and support for carers providing end of life care.
  • Transition between inpatient mental health settings and community or care home settings - NICE guideline [NG53] Published date: August 2016.

    This guideline covers the period before, during and after a person is admitted to, and discharged from, a mental health hospital. It aims to help people who use mental health services, and their families and carers, to have a better experience of transition by improving the way it’s planned and carried out.

  • Violence and aggression: short-term management in mental health, health and community settings - NICE guideline [NG10] Published date: May 2015.

    This guideline covers the short-term management of violence and aggression in adults (aged 18 years and over), young people (aged 13 to 17 years) and children (aged 12 years and under). It is relevant for mental health, health and community settings. The guideline aims to safeguard both staff and people who use services by helping to prevent violent situations and providing guidance to manage them safely when they occur. 
  • Violent and aggressive behaviours in people with mental health problems - NICE quality standard [QS154] Published date: June 2017.

    This quality standard covers short-term prevention and management of violent and physically threatening behaviour among adults, children and young people with a mental health problem. It applies to settings where mental health, health and social care services are provided. This includes community settings and care received at home. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. Quality statements 1 –2 refer to social workers.