Developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for common mental health conditions

Why do we need this project? 

We have identified a need for better consistency in mental health assessment, care, quality improvement, and care/referral pathways for infants, children, young people, and their carers/families across the Melbourne Children’s Campus.


This project aims to establish a clear set of evidence-based and clinical consensus recommendations to improve the overall consistency and efficiency of mental healthcare delivery.  

These clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) will provide a standardised framework that healthcare professionals can use to inform identification, assessment and management of common mental health conditions, ensuring all patients receive the same level of high-quality care.  

CPGs will be accompanied by a suite of clinical decision-making guides and care pathways, so staff know where and how to seek help for children and their families   

Our initial focus: anxiety in children and young people 

Despite the high prevalence of anxiety in children and young people, there has been a lack of clinical guidance for this age group. There are evidence-based guidelines for anxiety in adults, but children and young people can express their anxiety differently to adults. Many children experience occasional fears or worries it can be difficult to discern when there is a more serious problem. This often results in misinterpretation and missed diagnoses. 

To address this gap, Melbourne Children’s Campus Mental Health Strategy have developed and published an evidence-based clinical practice guideline for anxiety in children and young people. 

This evidence-based guideline is intended to be used by clinicians, including medical and allied health professionals, nurses, pharmacists, educators, psychosocial support workers, and other professionals involved in the care of children and young people with anxiety. Professionals with appropriate training and credentials can use this guideline to inform identification, assessment, management and support for children, young people, and their families with anxiety while working within their scope of practice. This guideline is tailored for use in a clinical context.

Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline

Supporting documents

Technical evidence report

Public consultation feedback



Acknowledgement of Country

Australian Aboriginal Flag
Progress Pride Flag
Torres Strait Islander Flag

At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge all people with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health and recovery. At the Campus, we particularly acknowledge children, young people, families, carers, and supporters. We recognise their vital contribution and value the courage of those who share this unique perspective for the purpose of learning and growing together to achieve better outcomes for the Campus, staff, sector, and all people of lived experience.

Proudly supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation