While several types of antidepressant medications can be effective to treat adults with depression, these medications may not be as effective in treating children and adolescents. Care must be used in prescribing and monitoring all medication.
Many mental health care providers use "talk" treatments to help children and adolescents with depression. A child or adolescent in need of treatment or services and his or her family may need a plan of care based on the severity and duration of symptoms. Optimally, this plan is developed with the family, service providers, and a service coordinator, who is referred to as a case manager. Whenever possible, the child or adolescent is involved in decisions. This "system of care" is designed to improve the child's ability to function in all areas of life — at home, at school, and in the community. For more information on systems of care, call 1-800-789-2647.