Tag Archives: anxiety

An expert guide to raising teens

Being a teenager is tough—on teenagers and their parents. While there’s lots of advice on the internet, sorting the credible from the questionable can be difficult.

But hundreds of parents around Australia found that accessing a free, online support program improved their parenting skills and confidence, according to two randomised controlled studies from 2015 to 2017.  

The program, called Partners in Parenting (PiP), was developed by experts at Monash University and The University of Melbourne.

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Peptides to fight pain

A new approach to the global chronic pain problem

Chronic pain affects around 20 per cent of the world’s population at any one time. It is the most common reason people seek medical help in Australia. Chronic pain often goes hand in hand with anxiety and depression.

Short chains of amino acids—known as peptides—may offer hope. A collaboration between neurobiologists at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at The University of Melbourne and CNRS units affiliated with the Universities of Bordeaux and Strasbourg has made significant progress towards an entirely new approach to treating pain.

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Changing the minds of dementia patients

“I’m ecstatic about the impact our programs have on kids, and knowing that we’ve changed their lives for the better. But we need to ask ‘what about our retirees?’” says Professor Ron Rapee, ARC Laureate Fellow, and former Director of the Centre for Emotional Health.

Viviana is developing programs that might help lower susceptibility to dementia. Credit: Myles Pritchard, Macquarie University
Viviana is developing programs that might help lower susceptibility to dementia. Credit: Myles Pritchard, Macquarie University

Retirees are less likely to suffer from mental health problems but they still develop anxiety and depression – and there’s increasing evidence these conditions are risk factors for dementia.

To make things worse, they’re often left untreated as there’s a perception that it’s normal for older people to suffer depression as they lose their friends, health and independence.

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Cool Kids goes bush – helping rural children with anxiety

Just under half the children in Australia with a mental health issue aren’t receiving the appropriate treatment, and one third of their parents say the main impediment is a lack of access to treatment options.

Lauren is using technology to help rural children with anxiety. Credit: Chris Stacey
Lauren is using technology to help rural children with anxiety. Credit: Chris Stacey

“We’ve got all these great programs that we know work, but kids in rural Australia have just not been getting access to them,” says Dr Lauren McLellan, a clinical psychologist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Emotional Health.

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Genetics guiding anxiety treatment

For years we’ve been identifying genetic markers linked to mental disorders. Now it appears those same markers could also tell us who will best-respond to treatment.

Genetic data are another piece in the puzzle of personalised treatment for anxiety. Credit: Chris Stacey, Macquarie University
Genetic data are another piece in the puzzle of personalised treatment for anxiety. Credit: Chris Stacey, Macquarie University

A study of over 1,500 children, as part of the international Genes for Treatment collaboration, found those with a specific genetic marker were more responsive to psychological therapy than those without.

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Building an emotionally healthy community

A unique national centre is working to build an emotionally healthy community through science and practice.

From four-year-olds with anxiety, to 90-years-olds with depression, the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University takes a ‘lifespan approach’ to mental health.

They’ve spent the past 20 years studying, developing, testing and rolling out mental health programs – which are now available in eight languages and 15 countries including Denmark, the UK and Norway.

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