Since the beginning of the pandemic, YouTube has significantly increased its use of health information panels, which pop up in search results and under videos to provide factual information and updates about specific topics.
Now, the platform has expanded these panels to address two common mental illnesses: depression and anxiety. Beginning today, users who search for either illness will see a popup with information and an online screening tool.
For example, the panel about depression (which YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tweeted this afternoon) tells viewers that “depression is common and treatable,” gives a basic definition of what depression is, and then offers a digital version of the PHQ-9, a self-administered test for major depressive disorder.
The panel cautions that the test results are not an official diagnosis, and that folks who think they may have depression should speak with a doctor.
Wojcicki said the panels are a way for YouTube “to help our community prioritize wellbeing.”
While this feature is aimed at all YouTube users, not just creators, it’s worth noting that over the past few years, a number of prominent YouTubers–including Jacksepticeye, Lilly Singh, Liza Koshy, and Elle Mills–have been open about struggles with mental health and how being a creator can compound them. When YouTube swapped out exact subscriber figures for approximate counts late last year, it cited “creator concerns about stress and wellbeing” as one of the reasons for the change.