The clinically-validated questionnaire, called PHQ-9, is a private self-assessment that will provide a score indicating the severity of the user's depression.
U.S. -based users who make depression-related queries on the search engine will receive the prompt: "Check if you're clinically depressed", and be invited to fill out a screening questionnaire.
Under that result is a "What this means" section, that said, "You may feel more stress in your life than usual" and advises that a doctor or mental health professional could help if the feelings persist or it's a matter of personal concern. To ensure that the information is accurate and useful, Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
When a person searches for "clinical depression", the PHQ-9 suggestion appears in the search results page's "Knowledge Panel", found in the top portion of the page that usually displays basic information on the topic searched.
Google announced in a blog post on Thursday, August 24, Philippine time, that it launched a tool to test oneself for depression when one searches for "clinical depression".
Google expects the feature to fully roll out on mobile in the United States over the next day or so.
Google told The Verge that the test isn't meant to replace a medical evaluation but rather to steer users to one if their results indicate possible depression. It is known as a Knowledge Panel, according to the reports by Verge on Wednesday.
"Clinical depression is a very common condition, in fact, approximately one in five Americans experience an episode in their lifetime".
Answering "More than half the days" for every question brought a result saying moderately severe clinical depression was likely, and that therapy and medication could help.
Though the feature is now available for US-based users only, it might not be naive to expect it to be available in other parts of the world.