Google Search users in the US will soon be able to take a screening to determine whether they are depressed. The clinically approved test is optional, and will show up when Google Search users in the US look up “depression” on the search engine. It will be placed as a box on top of the results on mobile on search result page, which Google calls Knowledge Panel. This panel includes information on what depression is, its symptoms, and possible treatments. The company has also partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to ensure the information shared in the Google Search depression questionnaire is accurate.
“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, this new Google Search 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 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.