Why are ssri meds used so often when studies show them to be no more effective than placebos?

It's controversial. Whether ssris work better than placebo for depression is controversial, hotly debated among authors & mental health professionals. Partly it depends on how you interpret the studies. Probably the most honest answer is that doctors want to be helpful, and ssris clearly do relieve suffering. (placebo might too.) i wrote more about it here: http://blog.Stevenreidbordmd.Com/?P=449.
Suicide Is Serious. And should be prevented. Sometimes one must use the tools available. There are many other drug classes effective for depression, and if SSRIs don't work for one patient that does not preclude efficacy of another class of antidepressant. There are standards of care with respect to prescribing such medications, and if one hasn't worked after a specified period of time & dose, another will be tried.
Which studies? . Who are doing the studies you are reviewing.
SSRIs placebo? Not sure where the Placebo information came from, but my experience has been that they are very effective when used for diagnosed cases and closely monitored.
Agree w Dr Cacazos. Would wonder about source of that information....