Googling “depression” in the US will let you check if you’re depressed

Google US has added a new mobile feature that lets you take a clinically validated screening questionnaire.

People in the US who Google search on “depression” on their mobile phones, have the option to take a screening questionnaire that evaluates whether they are depressed or not. Google spokeswoman Susan Cadrecha says “It isn’t meant to subvert a medical evaluation, it’s meant to steer you to one if you appear depressed.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one in five Americans have an episode of clinical depression during their lifetime. Unfortunately only about 50 percent of individuals that have been diagnosed with it actively get treated for it.

Upon Googling “depression” in the US, users will see a section near the search results. According to Google, this is called the “Knowledge Panel. It contains basic information about depression, its symptoms and treatments. Now their also is an option to tap on “check if you’re clinically depressed”, which leads you to a clinically validated screening questionnaire called PHQ-9. It is a private self-assessment and is meant to help steer people who might be depressed toward in-person evaluations.

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