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NICE recommends ‘Smartphone therapy’ for children with depression

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,according to new advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). Digital CBT is delivered on mobile phones, tablets or computers, meaning users can access help quickly, avoiding waiting lists.

The guidance, for identifying and managing depression in children and young people aged five to 18, says online therapy and courses in mindfulness should be the first options for treatment of mild cases. 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. Read more here.