Dr Lauren McLellan

Mental Health Grant 
Centre for Emotional Health,
Macquarie University, NSW

“Improving access to mental health services for children with anxiety”

1 or 2 children out of every 10 will experience anxiety so much that it interferes with their life. Thankfully there are effective treatments for anxiety – in the world-renowned Cool Kids program children and their parents learn strategies to manage fears and worries.

Using cognitive behavioural techniques children learn to face their fears gradually and challenge anxious thoughts. Parents also learn about helpful ways of responding to anxiety so that their children get the most out of the program.

There are numerous variations of the Cool Kids program e.g. for Autistic children, translated into different languages, delivered through schools and to adolescents.

Dr. Lauren McLellan is now leading a project to make treatment for child anxiety accessible to more Australians by offering the Cool Kids program via the internet. As a result, children and families who usually can’t access face-to-face treatment, such as those in regional or remote areas, will get the opportunity to complete the Cool Kids program, learn to manage anxiety, and improve their future emotional health.

*The Cool Kids program is one of the first mental health research projects funded by Australian Rotary Health, awarding eight Mental Health Project Grants over 15 years to its development

Co-Investigator: Professor Jennifer Hudson