Mental health is no joking matter. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with depression, you need answers. There are plenty of websites that look like they want to be helpful, but you haven’t got much time. How do you find out what you need to know – and fast?
Based on our guide to researching health information online, we’ve curated the 10 best websites for depression out of 24 health websites that we reviewed. Our list is based on the following criteria: Accuracy/Authority, Coverage/Currency, Objectivity/Purpose, and Patient-Friendly/Engaging. You’ll see how these websites score in these areas in the chart below, and we’ll give you the inside scoop about what they offer.
10) The Mighty – Though this website’s contact information only shows email or social media (Facebook), articles that are written by their staff feature links that connect with government research articles. The website covers not only depression but also serious or rare illnesses and even autism. Users must register to use the site, and the focus is on support for patients through social media. The articles by staff writers about mental health issues are a little hard to find but worth the effort. If you’re more into videos, you might have to scroll to find those applicable to depression and related issues, but they are available through a related Facebook page called The Mighty Video.
9) Cleveland Clinic – Even though no author or reviewer name is provided, the basic information on this website is solid. There are resources linked to NAMI and NMHA, and the ads for medication and meditation are low-key. While the website isn’t flashy, you can find your way around it with minimal effort.
8) Mayo Clinic – We love how this website provides a reference list at the end of each article, along with a date reviewed. Most articles are basic information, and as expected, the website wants to move the user toward making an appointment with one of their care professionals. One drawback – lots of scrolling through text.
7) WebMD – WebMD offers transparency with its HONcode and URAC certifications. Though it appears that this website now purchases some content from another website called HealthDay, the articles do provide an author name with an author bio available on the HealthDay website. Quizzes are available but buried in a dropdown menu. Unfortunately, the landing page for depression is pretty overwhelming with lots of links, articles, and videos to choose from, but if you manage to pick one, the language is easy to understand.
6) Psychology Today – We like how this website encourages you to reach out for support, and it does so with easy navigation. For those who would rather watch than read, Youtube videos are available, though not produced by Psychology Today. They also offer a free service to locate a therapist in your area which could be time-saving.
5) EverydayHealth – Multiple pop-up ads try to rope you into registering for their newsletter, but once you move past that, you’ll find some good quality videos, some produced by Everyday Health and some by other entities like The Today Show or Business Insider. The navigation tabs look like keywords right under the article title, so keep an eye out for that, and be prepared to scroll – a lot. You also can connect with the PHQ-9 patient health questionnaire to help self-diagnose depression before seeking medical treatment.
4) Healthline – This website does a great job including both author and reviewer names and the reviewer’s bio information. It also carries the HONcode certification, features links in the article to connect to other articles for more information, and lists the article sources in a reference list. If you’re unsure what to read next, their instructions to “read this next” might help you out. What’s not to love? The video ads and recurring pop-up ads for the newsletter. They’re annoying, but the easy-to-read articles will be worth it.
3) Psycom.net – You will navigate with ease using this site’s “Jump to” tabs. The articles use language like it’s just us talking, and we love that they work their sources’ website names right into the article. There’s interesting coverage for partners or caregivers, too. If you can put up with some random retail ads and ads for meds that just won’t go away, you’ll be glad you visited this site.
2) PsychCentral – We love the quizzes this website offers which help users self-diagnose mental health issues. They provide a link to online counseling, and the website has received tons of awards. Even the ads seem to be tailor-made for this website – no random retail stuff – though you might get the feeling the website is promoting the use of meds. The downside? The language is a little bit challenging, and the videos from Youtube sometimes lack expert credibility. Still, it’s worth checking out.
1) WomensHealth.gov – This government-sponsored website is our fav. Articles contain reference lists with links, and we love the helpline (staffed Monday through Friday). It also offers free mental health booklets featured on other government websites. Another plus is its navigation. It uses questions about depression as tabs to expand into brief article summaries. Though no videos are offered and the website is designed for women, we think everybody could find this information helpful.
We understand that you need answers, and you need them fast. Though these top 10 depression websites offer great information, Depressionpedia.com can help, too. You can engage with short videos on Depressionpedia.com where mental health experts talk to you in language that makes sense. They’ll give you ideas to help as you consider the best depression treatment for you or your loved one. Depression is difficult, but you have support. Depressionpedia.com is doctor-led but built for you and your lifestyle.
- About HealthDay. (2016). HealthDay. Retrieved from http://www.healthday.com/purchase-health-news-articles.html
- Accreditation FAQs. (2019). URAC. Retrieved from https://www.urac.org/accreditation-faqs
- Bennington-Castro, J. & Jasmer, R. (2018). Depression signs, symptoms, latest treatments, tests, and more. Everyday Health. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/guide/
- Cagliostro, D. (2018). Depression: Persistent sadness & loss of interest in life. Psycom. Retrieved from https://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html
- The commitment to reliable health and medical information on the internet. (2017). HONcode. Retrieved from https://www.hon.ch/HONcode/Patients/Visitor/visitor.html
- Depression. (2017). WomensHealth.gov. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/depression
- Depression. (2019). The Mighty. Retrieved from https://themighty.com/topic/depression/
- Depression. (2019) Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/depression
- Depression health center. (2016). WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/depression/default.htm
- Depression overview. (2017). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9290-depression-overview
- Grohol, J. (2019). Depression. PsychCentral. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/depression/
- Legg, T. (2018). Everything you want to know about depression. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Depression (major depressive disorder). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007
Nan Kuhlman has been a freelance writer for over two decades with her most recent publications appearing in the Anastamos Interdisciplinary Journal, Christianity Without Religion, and on the parenting website Motherly.com. She also is a contributing writer for Grace Communion International’s denominational publications and videos.