Now When You Google "Depression" This Is What You'll Be Greeted With

Now When You Google

A mobile search for "depression" or "clinical depression" will bring up an option to "check if you are clinically depressed".

People in the USA who search Google for "depression" on their mobile phones will soon have the option to take a screening questionnaire to test whether they're depressed.

The questionnaire, called PHQ-9, is a clinically approved method of screening for depression and has been used by the NHS. It said the assessment can help people have more informed conversations with doctors. Rather, it's created to help increase awareness and could lead people to seek treatment, Giliberti said.

The search giant has made a decision to throw in a "Check if you are clinically depressed" and fill out a screening questionnaire. "The PHQ-9 can be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis", Giliberti added.

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Google is hoping to use its dominance in the online search world to help those who feel they might be depressed, and try to get them the help they need.

Following the high-profile suicides of musicians Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, more people are openly discussing the dangers of depression and why the symptoms shouldn't be ignored.

A 2001 article by the Society of General Internal Medicine found that "in addition to making criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders, the PHQ-9 is also a reliable and valid measure of depression severity".

"We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment", Giliberti wrote. It is not meant to be a medical evaluation, stressed NAMI and Google.

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As of now, Google operates a service for users seeking to find out about their medical conditions.

Still, Hellerstein had several questions about Google's use of the screening device.

It's estimated one in five Americans experience an episode of depression in their lifetime, but of that group, Giliberti said only half seek treatment.

Google expects the feature to fully roll out on mobile in the USA over the next day or so.

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Once the user enters "clinical depression", the server directs the user, in the search page, to the Knowledge Panel.

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