Google is becoming more intimately involved with Internet users’ mental health, introducing a feature that is aimed at pointing people who are depressed toward places where they can get help.
Forbes reports that the company has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the initiative, which kicks in when a user types in a depression-related term in a Google search.
“Atop the main results, a box will pop up, asking, ‘Are you depressed?,'” the story reports. “If you click ‘yes,’ you’ll be linked to the PHQ-9, a validated questionnaire that clinicians may use to help diagnose depression. It asks the user to rate whether they have symptoms like: ‘Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television,’ ‘Feeling bad about yourself — or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down?’”
“The hope is that people will fill out the questionnaire and, depending on the results, have more information to share with their doctors, or perhaps seek treatment where they would have otherwise been too hesitant,” Forbes reports. “According to NAMI, about 50% of people with depression never seek treatment.”