Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Google Asks, 'Are You Depressed?'

Google, How Depressed Am I? Google Searches About Depression May Lead to Help
Connie Andrews | 28 August, 2017, 01:41

Google and the National Alliance on Mental Health hope launching this feature will help to educate people and encourage them to seek treatment more quickly. But, this questionnaire is not supposed to be the only tool used to determine whether somebody is depressed or not and it should be used to motivate people to seek professional medical help.

The organization hopes that by making the questionnaire easily available on Google, more people will become aware of their own illness and seek treatment.

The feature, now available only on Google mobile searches, is based on the PHQ-9 screening tool - which doctors have used for 18 years to help diagnose mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Users who search for information on the subject of depression will get a pop up on the top of their screen that says "check if you're clinically depressed".

The questionnaire asks a user to rate symptoms that include "Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television", and "Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed?"

To efficiently implement the plan, Google has partnered with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

When you Google "depression" in the U.S., you will see a box atop the results on mobile, which Google calls a Knowledge Panel. It's unclear how much of these are about mental health.

"Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience an average of a 6- to 8-year delay in getting treatment after the onset of symptoms", according to Giliberti. Depression is a treatable condition that's impacting the lives of millions of people each year. The questionnaire that bears the name PHQ-9 is anonymous and has been clinically validated.

In case of depression, a form of mental illness, it has been determined that one of five people in the U.S. suffer from episodes of clinical depression.

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