If you search for depression on Google now, a questionnaire pops up that will ask you a series of questions to determine if you have the condition.
Try to Google the word “depression” and see what happens. Just try it, we’ll wait. Notice anything different from the typical search results?
Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to create a questionnaire that will help Google users determine if they have depression, rather than simply give them a list of websites with information on the condition. Starting this week, users on mobile will be prompted to take the PHQ-9 test at the top of search results when Googling “depression,” which will ask them standard questions so as to assess one’s likelihood of having depression.
The questions will include whether users feel interest or pleasure when doing things, if they have trouble concentration, and many other queries. Google is moving more into the health and wellness arena, so this is a natural result of such a focus. The company recently invested in a startup that would turn smartphones into handheld health diagnostic tools, for example.
“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,” Google says on their blog. “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. Please see a guest post from them below.
“Clinical depression is a very common condition—in fact, approximately one in five Americans experience an episode in their lifetime. However, despite its prevalence, only about 50 percent of people who suffer from depression actually receive treatment. To help raise awareness of this condition, we’ve teamed up with Google to help provide more direct access to tools and information to people who may be suffering.”