Children and young people can be offered digital cognitive behavioural therapy (digital CBT, also known as computer CBT) as a first-line treatment for mild depression.
Digital CBT is delivered on mobile phones, tablets or computers, meaning users can access help quickly, avoiding waiting lists.
Group CBT, group interpersonal psychotherapy and group mindfulness are also recommended as first-line treatments.
NICE says that the choice of treatment should be based on clinical need and patient and carer preferences. The child or young person’s history, circumstances and maturity should also be considered.
Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: “In this update to our depression in children guideline, we reviewed evidence for the most effective psychological interventions for children and young people with depression. The guideline update emphasises the importance of a child or young person’s personal choice when receiving treatment for depression.
“We want to ensure children are offered a range of therapies to suit their needs and individual preferences are placed at the heart of their care. The evidence showed digital CBT and group therapy were most effective at reducing depressive symptoms and we have recommend these as first-line options for children and young people with mild depression.”