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Online searches for mental health-related terms double in four years

RedArc urges people to seek advice from a reputable source

The number of searches for mental health-related terms has increased dramatically over the past four years, an analysis shows.

Research from RedArc found the number of monthly searches undertaken in the UK for the specific term “mental health” has more than doubled in the past four years, from around 27,800 in 2015 to 69,200 in 2019.

Analysing the monthly searches for 893 broader phrases that Google understands as being related to mental health shows a 37% increase from 2015 to 2019.

Of these, the three specific terms with the highest number of monthly searches during this four year period are anxiety, depression and bipolar.

These trends mirror data released by Google earlier this year that highlighted around 7% of worldwide Google daily searches were health related, equivalent to 70,000 every minute.

Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc nurses, said people need to ensure they are seeking advice from a reputable source as there is a lot of content out there of a dubious nature.

“We’re never going to stop people using search engines to research potential mental health conditions, but we do need to help people make a judgement about which sources to trust,” she stated. “Employers should be looking to fill this space either directly or via a third party to ensure that staff only receive the highest quality of information and that it is just as easy to source as using a search engine and is backed up with real interventions should a member of staff need it.”