Feeling blue? You can now ask Google for help.
The search giant wants people with depression to seek treatment and will prompt US 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 — which partnered with the 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.
“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.