• Conduct a patient centered interview to screen for and diagnose depression using current DSM criteria and other diagnostic and functional assessment tools
  • Perform a Mental Status Exam including assessment of suicidal/homicidal risk and take appropriate action where necessary
  • Identify risk factors for depression and suicide.
  • Propose a differential diagnosis for patients with depressed mood to rule out important secondary causes and an initial plan for investigation
  • Describe non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic approaches to management, including risks, benefits and limitations of the method(s) used.
    • Pharmacologic
      • Medication classes and common side effects
    • Non-pharmacologic
      • Various forms of outpatient psychotherapy
      • Resources available in community

Core Resources

Depression 2019.pdf

Steed RC, MacQueen GM, Keegan DA. Depression. Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card. 2019. Available at:

Depression One-Page Primer

Levenstadt J, Watson WJ. Depression One-Page Primer.  DFCM Open. 2014. Available at  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

Youth Mental Health Anxiety and Depression

Centre for Effective Practice. Youth Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression. Published June 2017.

Supplemental Resources

A Primary Care Focus on the Treatment of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Weihs K, Wert JM. A Primary Care Focus on the Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder. The American journal of the medical sciences. 2011;342(4):324-330. doi:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e318210ff56.

Quick Reference Psychiatric Medications 2016

Preston J. Psy.D and P.A. Distributors. Quick Reference to Psychiatric Medications®. 2015. Available at:

CEP Guide for Primary Care Management of Mental Health and Addictions

Centre for Effective Practice in collaboration with Ontario College of Family Physicians and Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario. Keeping your Patients Safe: A Guide to Primary Care Management of Mental Health and Addictions-related Risks and Functional Impairments. February 2017