Google attempts to diagnose depression

The search giant unveils a new online quiz that can identify depression symptoms.

Tzvi Lev ,

Google HQ in New York
Google HQ in New York
Serge Attal/Flash 90

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and they blame the illness for causing half of the world's suicides.

Google has partnered with the US National Alliance on Mental Illness, and has unveiled a new questionnaire that they hope will assist those suffering from depression by alerting them to the symptoms.

As of Thursday, every user searching 'depression' on Google will be invited to fill out a questionnaire that asses whether the user is clinically depressed. The 9 question form asks if "you feel you have little interest or pleasure in doing things” or “trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television".

While the test, can not objectively diagnose depression, the search giant hopes that alerting users to their symptoms will cause them to go to a doctor.

The test is currently avilible only for users in the United States, but the company says that it is expected to be available worldwide in the coming weeks.

A letter appearing on the top of the questionnaire says that "Now when you search for 'clinical depression' on Google, you'll see a Knowledge Panel that will give you the option to tap 'check if you’re clinically depressed', which will bring you to PHQ-9, a clinically validated screening questionnaire to test what your likely level of depression may be."