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Google search uses a medical quiz to help diagnose depression

Google is offering a verified test that could lead to treatment.
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sdominick via Getty Images

Only half of Americans who face depression get help for it, and Google is determined to increase that percentage. As of today, it's offering a medically validated, anonymous screening questionnaire for clinical depression if you search for information on the condition. This won't definitively indicate that you're clinically depressed, to be clear, but it will give you useful information you can take to a doctor. And importantly, the very presence of the questionnaire promises to raise awareness and promote treatment beyond what a basic information card would offer.

The questionnaire is part of a larger effort from internet giants to provide helpful and potentially life-saving information to people with mental health issues. Facebook is testing AI that can detect suicidal comments and make it easier to get help, while its Instagram service recently started offering support to users when their friends report concerning posts.

In many cases, they're concerned both about offering a helping hand as well as making sure that you get accurate information. Google and others are determined to fight fake news, and they know that the consequences of false or incomplete medical information could be serious. If you need help, they want to be sure you get the appropriate support.

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