Skip to main content
2 Aug. 2019

Psychotherapy Should be First-Line Treatment for Depression in Young People, Trial Finds

Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, has completed a trial of 153 young people aged 15-25 years old who had been diagnosed with depression and were being treated at youth mental health services in north-west Melbourne.

The clinical trial was placebo-controlled. All trial participants received cognitive behaviour therapy for 12 weeks coupled with either the common antidepressant fluoxetine or a placebo medication.

Associate Professor Christopher Davey explained, "The results suggest that we should really be focusing on providing good quality psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, to young people and keeping medication as the second line of treatment."

He continued to say medication may have a bigger role in people older (25 years+) and if people find medication works, they should continue taking it. 

Davey also mentioned the importance of a multi-faceted approach to treating depression in young people.

“The take-home message from the study is that the first-line treatment for young people with depression should be psychotherapy," Davey said.

To read the entire study in The Lancet Psychiatry, please click here.