Think you are depressed and you Google for information? You now can receive more help than just search results.
“Now when you search for “clinical depression” on Google on mobile, you’ll see a Knowledge Panel that will give you the option to tap “check if you’re clinically depressed”, which will bring you to PHQ-9, a clinically validated screening questionnaire to test what your likely level of depression may be. To ensure that the information shared in the PHQ-9 questionnaire is accurate and useful, we have partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness on this announcement,” Google announced Thursday.
Users in the United States who search for “depression” or “clinical depression” will now be offered a questionnaire to test their depression levels and help determine whether they should seek professional help, Google said in a blog post.
- VIDEO: Watch a CNBC report about the test at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz56DW1tcaA
Users who search for information on depression will be shown a box at the top of their screen encouraging them to “check if you’re clinically depressed.” The clinically validated test, called PHQ-9, asks about energy, appetite and concentration levels, among other things.
Google said the initiative was developed in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
“The results of the PHQ-9 can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor,” wrote Mary Giliberti, CEO of NAMI.
“You may have noticed that in Google search results, when you search for depression or clinical depression in the U.S., you see a Knowledge Panel for the condition which provides general information about it, the symptoms, and possible treatment options. Today PHQ-9, a clinically validated screening questionnaire which can help identify levels of depressive symptoms is also available directly from the search result. By tapping ‘Check if you’re clinically depressed,’ you can take this private self-assessment to help determine your level of depression and the need for an in-person evaluation. The results of the PHQ-9 can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor.”
The tech firm said it recognized that the information was “sensitive and private,” and that it would not store the responses.
Clinical depression affects roughly one in five Americans at some point in their lives. But individuals with depression symptoms take an average of six to eight years before they seek professional help, according to NAMI.
“We hope that by making this information available on Google, more people will become aware of depression and seek treatment to recover and improve their quality of life,” explained Giliberti.
Research released in May found the percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the U.S. has doubled over nearly a decade.
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