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How Google Is Going a Step Further for People Who Search for 'Depression'

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

Google can now help people figure out if they're just sad or clinically depressed

Even though we’re getting slightly better about talking about mental health, taking the first initial steps toward getting help for depression can be very intimidating. So it makes sense that from the privacy of our own homes or cellphones, we search for “depression” in the hopes of finding some answers.

More: Talking About Depression Is Good — Investing in Mental Health Is Better

Google has noticed this, and soon, users who search for “depression” will be prompted to take a questionnaire assessing whether they may be impacted by the mental illness. The tech giant has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the organization’s CEO Mary Giliberti wrote a blog post on the new feature, noting that the aim of the new feature will be to “help provide more direct access to tools and information to people who may be suffering” from depression.

Now, when you search for “depression” or “clinical depression,” a Knowledge Panel will pop up on the screen, providing immediate, digestible general information on the symptoms and treatment options. Starting today, a clinically validated screening assessment will also be available on the same panel to help determine if you should seek an in-person mental health evaluation.

MoreI May Never Get Off Depression Medication, & That's OK

“Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience an average of a six- to eight-year delay in getting treatment after the onset of symptoms,” Giliberti wrote in the blog post. “We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment."

Editor’s note: This function was not yet available at the time of publication.

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