Mood disorders: Clinical practice guidelines and associated resources

Clinical practice guideline for the treatment of mood disorders (2020) [PDF; 9 MB]
Guidance on the clinical management of depressive and bipolar disorders, specifically focusing on diagnosis and treatment strategies.

The 2020 guideline builds on the previous 2015 Clinical Practice Guideline (linked here for reference purposes) and maintains its joint focus on both depressive and bipolar disorders.


Key practice points

The 2020 guideline builds on the previous guidelines (issued in 2015) and provides up-to-date recommendations and guidance within an evidence-based framework, supplemented by expert clinical consensus. 

The 2020 guideline: 

  • discusses the diagnosis and management of both depressive and bipolar disorders, recognising that these have increasingly been conceptualised as part of a spectrum
  • illustrates step-by-step the clinical management of mood disorders
  • provides guidance on the management of psychiatric comorbidities, including comorbid anxiety and comorbid substance use
  • considers the clinical management of mood disorders with complex presentations and in special populations. 

Associated resources 

Webinar recordings and e-learning modules

Delivered via the RANZCP's e-learning platform, Learnit.  Member sign-in is required to access the modules.


New Clinical Guidelines for Mood Disorders: Management of Major Depressive Disorder and Treatment Non-Response


New Clinical Guidelines for Mood Disorders: Classification, Diagnosis, Assessment and Formulation


Community resources

Readers can access further guidance for the treatment of mood disorders. Additional details on specific treatments are available in the following Professional Practice Guidelines/Position Statements developed by the College:Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS),Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), Ketamine therapyMedicinal cannabis and Psychotherapy conducted by psychiatrists.

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