People in the US will soon have an option to take a screening test on Google to know if they are depressed or not.
Now, when users in the US will search for “depression” on Google, they will see a box atop the results on mobile, which the search giant calls a Knowledge Panel. The Knowledge Panel contains information on what depression is, what its symptoms are and the possible treatments.
“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 said in a blog post.
According to Google spokesperson Susan Cadrecha, cited by The Verge, the feature is being rolled out on mobile in the US soon and it is not meant to subvert a medical evaluation.
“The results of the PHQ-9 can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor,” according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which partnered with Google on the questionnaire.
According to NAMI, clinical depression is a fairly common condition with almost one in five Americans experiencing an episode in their lifetime. But only about 50 percent of people who have depression get treated for it.
“Mental health professionals often refer to major depressive disorder as clinically significant depression or clinical depression. Clinical depression is a treatable condition which can impact many aspects of a person’s life. The PHQ-9 can be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis,” the NAMI statement added.