Health & Fitness | August 27, 2017 5:00 am

Google Offers Test for Depression Based On Searches

Users who search certain terms offered questionnaire to test depression levels.

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Google users in the United States who search for “depression” or “clinical depression” will now be offered a questionnaire to test their mental health, reports CNN

The test is meant to help those users decide whether or not they should seek professional help.

The test, PHQ-9, is clinically validated, and asks about energy, appetite, and concentration levels, among a other potential warning signs. Users who search for information on depression will be shown a box at the top of their screen, which will encourage them to “check if you’re clinically depressed.”

Google said that it will not store responses because the information is “sensitive and private,” according to CNN. The initiative was developed in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

NAMI’s CEO said that the results can “help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor.”

Clinical depression affects roughly one in five Americans at some point over the course of their lives. But NAMI says that many people with depression symptoms take an average of six to eight years before they seek professional help.

“We hope that by making this information available on Google, more people will become aware of depression and seek treatment to recover and improve their quality of life,” Giliberti said to CNN. 

The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions has doubled over nearly a decade in the U.S., according to research released in May.