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1 in 5 Americans is Depressed, and Google Wants to do Something About it

Picture of Nadia Elysse
US Editorial Team Lead
Updated: 28 August 2017
Google has partnered with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) to develop a screening tool that will help the search engine’s users check to see if they’re depressed.

“It’s cool that you can take this at home, do it when you want to do it, and you could even do it at the dinner table with your kids,” Ken Duckworth, medical director of NAMI, told Mashable. “I don’t know how people will use it, but the beauty of it is it’s simply a tool.”

The tool, called PHQ-9, is a “clinically-validated” screening questionnaire that will appear in the Knowledge Panel for users who search for “depression” or other terms related to it. Users can click a prompt that reads “check if you’re clinically depressed,” then answer a short series of questions. The goal, Google says, is to help people identify symptoms and get the help they need.

Approximately 1 in 5 American adults has a mental health condition, according to Mental Health America’s latest report. Though many notice signs of depression, some don’t get a concrete diagnosis until more than five years after initially noticing symptoms.

“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,” Google said in a statement.