When people use Google Search to look for information about anxiety, they will now see a clinically-validated questionnaire for self-assessment.
According to new data released last week from the Census Bureau, a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression.
“Anxiety disorders affect 48 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety presents itself as a wide range of symptoms, and can be a result of biological factors or triggered by a change in environment or exposure to a stressful event.
With COVID-19 introducing new points of stress, communities are seeing a rise in mental health issues and needs.”
Google is doing its part to assist those who may be dealing with symptoms of anxiety by partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide access to mental health resources.
When people in the US search for information about anxiety, Google will display the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7) in the knowledge panel section.
The GAD-7 is used in clinical practice as a tool to screen for anxiety. According to Peer reviewed studies, the questionnaire is valid, efficient, and reliable.
Here’s an example of what the GAD-7 looks like.
When you’re done, you add up the numbers to find out where you fit on the anxiety scale. Scores range from 0 (minimal anxiety) to 21 (severe anxiety).
Of course, it will appear different when served in search results and scores are automatically calculated.
Here are some example screenshots.
The seven question survey covers the same things a mental health professional might ask.
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Google assures the answers are private and secure, and will not be collected or shared.
The GAD-7 is not a medical diagnosis. It’s only designed to help people understand how their self-reported anxiety symptoms compare to others who have taken the same questionnaire.
From there, people can view resources to learn more about their symptoms, or seek help from a professional if needed.
“Anxiety can show up as a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, and it can take decades for people who first experience symptoms to get treatment.
By providing access to authoritative information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, we hope to empower more people to take action and seek help.”
This is now the third mental health screener available in Google search results.
Previously, NAMI has partnered with Google to provide similar screeners to people who search for information on depression and PTSD.
The self-assessments are currently available in the US only, but Google hopes to eventually make them available in other countries.
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