It’s been a tough 18 months or so for Australians with the bushfires, drought and COVID-19 and it has placed a spotlight on mental health and the importance of dealing with it. Google has today launched a new tool to help Australians find information regarding depression and mental health.

After noticing that the search for “What is depression?” peaked at its highest level in over a decade last year Google realised the opportunity, and need, to direct people to get the help and support needed to deal with mental health problems — and timely.

Starting today Australians searching for depression will view trusted information on it but also be given the opportunity to take a simple 9-question self-assessment based on a clinically validated questionnaire called PHQ-9. Australia is the second country to see this new feature (after the US).

This new feature of Google Search has been developed by Google in conjunction with the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline with all three organisations recognising the importance of supplying information in a timely manner to people who suffer from depression (or suspect they might):

Todd Mekjian, Product Manager at Google Health says, “We’re delighted to work with Lifeline and Black Dog Institute to bring richer, clinically-validated health tools to Search in Australia. We hope this new self-assessment helps Australians better understand their risk for depression so they can get easy access to authoritative resources and support – right when they are looking for it.”

With over three million Aussies living with anxiety or depression it is no longer attached to a stigma of any sort. We strongly encourage those who suspect they may be suffering from depression or anxiety to get the help they need — the new Google Search tool seems to be a great place to start.