Google will ask you if you’re depressed


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Google will now ask users searching for depression-related terms if they are down in a bid to get them to seek help.

FEELING blue? You can now ask Google for help.

The New York Post reports that the search giant wants people with depression to seek treatment and will prompt users when they search for depression-related terms: “Check if you’re clinically depressed.”

Users will then be directed to a clinically validated questionnaire, called a PHQ-9, to measure their level of depression, Google explained on its blog. The questionnaire is not meant to replace a mental health professional.

Google will ask you if you’re depressed
Google wants to help people diagnose depression more easily. Picture: ThinkstockSource:Supplied

The prompts will only appear on the US version of Google and its not clear if and when they will appear on Google Australia.

Google — which partnered with the US National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to create the self-evaluation — hopes the confidential survey will spur more people to broach the subject with their doctor.

One in five Americans experience depression but less than half seek help, according to NAMI. Google seeks to change that by spreading awareness in order to help sufferers get a diagnosis and timely care.

Google will ask you if you’re depressed
The Google sign at the Googleplex in Menlo Park, California. Picture: Josh Edelson/AFPSource:AFP

“Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience an average of a 6-8 year delay in getting treatment after the onset of symptoms,” Google wrote in the blog posting.

“We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment,” it continues.

Jill Rubin, a licensed clinical social worker in Manhattan, says she’s had several patients come into her office after identifying with symptoms of depression they found online.

“I think the assessment form can certainly be quite helpful as a reference from which to explore,” she said. “It’s a guideline which can certainly help a patient understand and clarify as well as the mental health provider.”

If you are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal feelings contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.

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