Users who search key terms such as "depression" and "clinical depression" have immediate access to the PHQ-9 test, a self-assessment tool that allows people to gauge their mental health and identify whether they're exhibiting common symptoms of depression.
Now, when users in the United States will search for "depression" on Google, they will see a box atop the results on mobile, which the search giant calls a Knowledge Panel, The Verge reported on Wednesday.
While Giliberti says that knowing about depression "can help empower and educate you", which can lead to faster treatment, but that while it can be beneficial, she emphasized that it shouldn't be used "as a singular tool for diagnosis".
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Users can make use of the PHQ-9 questionnaire that is available directly via Google search results to get a more informed opinion about their depression before they get in touch with a doctor regarding the same.
Google's knowledge panel will also reportedly have information related to depression including what it is, its symptoms and treatment options.
The clinically-validated questionnaire, called PHQ-9, is a private self-assessment that will provide a score indicating the severity of the user's depression.
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Another unfortunate statistic: those who experience symptoms of depression wait six to eight years, on average, before getting treatment.
Security concerns aside, some mental health experts are questioning the project's effectiveness at tackling depression. Instead, depending on what the test finds, it may prompt you to seek an in-person evaluation. But Google says it won't keep the information.
NAMI, said to be the country's largest mental health advocacy group, wants to get people thinking about and doing something about their depression, because not enough do.
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Clinical depression affects roughly one in five Americans at some point in their lives. The quiz asks respondents questions about their sleeping habits, appetite, and their ability to concentrate on given tasks, among other things. "There will be false positives, for sure, but remember that this pops up only when people have sought information about clinical depression", Thase told Live Science. Google has long known this, since each year the tech giant releases a list of the most searched medical conditions.