The National Institutes of Health says more than 2 million American kids, 12 to 17, have experienced major depression in the past year., a condition that can increase the risk of suicide and drug use.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Society, compared two ways to treat teen depression. Half of the kids received either psychotherapy, anti-depressant medication, or both and the help of a care manager to offer education, treatment and support.
The other half saw their regular doctor and were encouraged to seek mental health services through their health plans.
Researchers say kids who received the extra attention did better.
Study author Dr. Laura Richardson says, "they were significantly more likely to experience a 50 percent or more drop in symptoms."
According to Dr. Richardson says 86 percent of the teens who had a care manager received psychotherapy, medications or both, compared to only 27 percent of the other group.
By the end of the study, half of the teens who had the extra intervention, said they had no depressive symptoms.