Google will soon start a service to let people check their mental health online. People searching for "depression" on Google will get a link to a questionnaire with their search result. The questionnaire will check to see if you could have depression. There are nine questions on the questionnaire. Google has partnered with America's National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on the project. NAMI said the questionnaire can help people find out how depressed they are. It said this could help them decide if they need a doctor. The questionnaire is initially only for people in the USA.
Google said the questionnaire could help people get treatment for depression quickly. It said: "Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience…a six- to eight-year delay in getting treatment….We believe that awareness of depression can help…educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment." However, Dr Aaron Balick said Google's questionnaire was the same as reading any online information about depression. He told the BBC: "A better approach would be…offering [people] resources and a direct line - perhaps a chat box - to local psychological services."