Here's Why Google Might Ask You If You're Depressed

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
The next time you use your phone to Google "depression," you may be prompted to answer a questionnaire to analyze your depression.
It's a new feature that Google has developed in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to offer a lending hand to those who may be suffering from mental health problems.
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According to a blog post on Google, users will have the option to be taken to PHQ-9, a clinically-validated screening test that helps to determine a person's likely level of depression.
As Mary Giliberti, CEO of NAMI, wrote in the blog post, 1 in 5 Americans experiences an episode of clinical depression in their lifetimes, but only about half of those who suffer seek help.
"To help raise awareness of this condition, we’ve teamed up with Google to help provide more direct access to tools and information to people who may be suffering," she wrote.
Though the questionnaire can't replace a diagnosis from a real doctor, it can help you determine your need for evaluation and help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor. The self-assessment is private and is meant to steer people towards getting treatment.
"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," Giliberti wrote. "We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment."
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By making the questionnaire more readily available on Google, NAMI hopes that it will encourage people to find help when they need it.
If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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