Recent news reports questioning the safety and effectiveness of several antidepressant medications widely prescribed for children — Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and Celexa — raise a key question: What other treatments have been proven safe and effective for kids with depression?

The practice guidelines of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP) hold that talk therapy (also known as psychosocial therapy) should be the first line of treatment for children with depression. Medication is called for as a first treatment only in the most severe cases of depression — when a child is incapacitated, suicidal or otherwise endangered by the illness, said Susan Swedo, associate director of child and adolescent research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The Washington Post reports on this issue.