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Those who Google “depressed” will now be directed to help

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The search engine will send users a link to a 9-question screening tool that could help diagnose depression

If you are feeling down in the dumps, Google will soon be there to help you determine whether you need to seek professional help.

Users in the United States who search for the word “depression” or “clinical depression” will soon be directed to the PHQ-9 questionnaire, the standard tool used by medical practitioners to detect clinical depression.

The new feature, developed in a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is expected to be available this week.

Those who click on the link will be presented with a list of questions asking them whether they have experienced symptoms of depression, including lack of interest or pleasure in doing things, poor appetite or overeating, and moving or speaking so slowly that other people have noticed.

Vidushi Tekriwal, product manager at Google, hopes that the service will prompt those who need help to seek it.

“Depression is a highly common condition, but about half of the people who suffer from it don’t get treated,” she told MarketWatch. “By making PHQ-9 easily accessible, we hope that will help provide useful and insightful information to spur deeper research on the web or to help you have more in-depth conversation with your doctor.”

 

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