Google Will Now Ask Users: "Are You Depressed?"

Google’s depression quiz is clinically validated and helps gauge severity

Google’s depression quiz is clinically validated and helps gauge severity

They will also see a box atop the results on the mobile, which Google calls a Knowledge Panel.

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

Now Google wants to help you keep your mental health in check.

Users searching for depression will be prompted to "check if you're clinically depressed".

The self-evaluation tool is called PHQ-9 or Patient Health Questionnaire 9, composed of 9 questions that gauge one's mental health, and one that Google says is a clinically validated screening questionnaire.

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

"Clinical depression is a very common condition, in fact, approximately one in five Americans experience an episode in their lifetime". Rather, the goal is for the results of the test to be shared with the user's doctor to inform further conversations about diagnosis and treatment.

NAMI points out that this questionnaire should not be regarded as a replacement for seeing a qualified health profession, but as a way of helping people to get the help they need more quickly: "While this tool can help, it's important to note that PHQ-9 is not meant to act as a singular tool for diagnosis".

The Knowledge Panel contains information on what depression is, what its symptoms are and the possible treatments.

"However, despite its prevalence, only about 50 percent of people who suffer from depression actually receive treatment", Gilberti said.

The self-assessment is private and is meant to help encourage people who might be depressed to seek medical help. To ensure that the information is accurate and useful, Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

It is not clear if this feature will reach other markets around the world apart from the US.

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