Mental Health – What I Found Doing a Deep Dive into Google Over the Past Decade

people doing internet searches

As awareness about mental health is on the rise, more people are aware that at least 1 in 5 people will experience mental health concerns in any given year. What may be less commonly known is that mental health is currently the leading cause of disability in Canada – one that comes with a whopping 50 billion cost to our economy.

1 in 5 people? and 50 billion dollars?! That is an absurdly hefty price to pay, so I decided to dig a bit deeper to see what was actually going on with us.

Here is what I found:

Google Trends

Just like you, Google is the first place I start to look for answers to questions. So I did a quick search on google trends over the past 10 years for mental health – specifically, anxiety and depression, as these are the two most commonly reported mental health concerns in Canada.

I started by looking for patterns in Ontario and these were the results I found:

Mental health Anxiety Depression trends in Ontario from 2010-2020

The search was then extended to the rest of Canada, and similar to Ontario, it showed a similar pattern of growth. No shocker here.

Mental health Anxiety Depression trends in Canada from 2010-2020

As you can tell from the graphs, there is a significant increase in mental health and anxiety searches over the past 10 years. I’d like to think this also means increased mental health awareness, services and campaigns to address the stigma around mental health. Thank you #BellLetsTalk

I was quite surprised to see that searches for depression have been quite stable over the decade, rather than increasing, similar to its counterparts.

Now that we have a better idea of the overall lay of the land, I decided to dig a bit deeper and decided to pull some stats from some more websites. I particularly did not want to view through the stats from any psychology or mental health related websites, as you would imagine, all the searches would be related to it. So I decided to go broad and look at the most popular health websites to analyze what pages brought in the most traffic.

Top Health Websites

Most people are more digitally engaged with their health than ever, so I decided to do a quick search to look for the top health websites on the internet and these are the top three that I found, in no specific order:

Healthline

WebMD

Mayoclinic

Embarrassing self-disclosure – I have used these websites several times over the past two decades at the slightest ache or pain, anxiously praying that it wasn’t cancer or a brain tumor. Cmon, like you haven’t done it at least once?

Do you recommend any other health websites you swear by? Leave a comment below!

Healthline

Here are the Canadian findings:

Among the pages that received the most traffic, there were:

• 30,697/month searches for information on – What is Anxiety.

• 214 shares on Facebook

• 4 pins on Pinterest

mental health related topics searched on healthline - anxiety

Among the keywords that received the most traffic, two of the top ones were:

Zoloft – 27,100 hits/month

Mirtazapine -27,100 hits/month

mental health related medication searches on healthline

Both Zoloft and Mirtazapine are typically prescribed to help manage mental health concerns. (And yes I am ignoring the top searched keyword which has 49,500 hits a month!)

Next up…

WebMD

Here are the Canadian findings:

Among the pages that received the most traffic, there was:

• 24,109/month searches for information on – Signs of Clinical Depression

• 5947 shares on Facebook

• 27 pins on Pinterest

mental health related topic searched on webmd - depression

Among the keywords that received the most traffic, the top ones were:

Lyrica – 27,100 hits/month

Zoloft -27,100 hits/month

Mirtazapine – 27,100 hits/month

Effexor – 22,200 hits/month

mental health related medication searches on webMD

All the highlighted medications have been known to be prescribed to help manage mental health concerns.

And the last one…

Mayo Clinic

Here are the Canadian findings:

Among the pages that received the most traffic, there was:

• 53,676/month search for information on – Narcissistic Personality Disorder

• 5340 shares on Facebook

• 94 pins on Pinterest

• 27,128/month search for information on – Borderline Personality Disorder

• 243 shares on Facebook

• 7 pins on Pinterest

mental health related topics searched on mayoclinic - narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder

Among the keywords that received the most traffic, the top ones were:

Citalopram -40,500 hits/month

Mirtazapine – 27,100 hits/month

mental health related medication searches on mayoclinic

And yet again, these are medications that are prescribed to manage mental health concerns.

On each of these health websites, it appears that mental health related matters seem to be the topics that are bringing in a lot of traffic.

If you would like me to check the stats on another health website, leave a comment below and I am happy to show you the results.

Suffice to say, this information has only confirmed our beliefs about the increasing prevalence of mental illness and its cost to our economy. The question is, is mental illness more prevalent over the past 10 years or is it just less taboo to talk about?

Given the above information on the most trafficked websites and keywords, I plan to use the next few posts to provide in-depth information, free resources and answer questions that will help you gain a better understanding of anxiety and depression.

If there are any topics you would like me to cover, leave a comment below!

Until next time,

Sarah Ahmed
Co-founder WellNest Psychotherapy Services

PS: If you have never spoken to a mental health profession, give this free mental health assessment tool a try!

PPS: If you prefer speaking with someone, you can schedule a free consult with anyone on our awesome team.

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