Google is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help raise awareness about clinical depression and motivate those struggling with it to get treatment.
Google on Wednesday revealed that you can now check if you're clinically depressed right from Google search. When you search for "clinical depression" on Google from your mobile phone, you'll now see a Knowledge Panel that provides the option to "check if you're clinically depressed." Clicking that will bring you to the clinically confirmed PHQ-9 depression test questionnaire, which can help identify your level of depression and whether you should see a medical professional for an in-person examination.
" Clinical depression is a very common condition-- in reality, around one in five Americans experience an episode in their life time," Mary Giliberti, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, wrote in a guest post on Google's blog site. "Nevertheless, despite its frequency, just about HALF of people who struggle with depression in fact get treatment."
Another unfortunate fact: those who experience symptoms of depression wait six to eight years, usually, before getting treatment.
" Our company believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, making it possible for quicker access to treatment," Giliberti wrote. "We hope that by making this information available on Google, more people will become aware of depression and look for treatment to recover and improve their quality of life."
It is very important to keep in mind, however, that the PHQ-9 "is not meant to serve as a singular tool for medical diagnosis," Giliberti cautioned. Instead, it can be an initial step towards an appropriate medical diagnosis, and can help you have a more educated conversation with your medical professional.