In Summary

  • Swinburne’s Psychology Clinic has developed a mental health treatment program to help youths affected by COVID-19
  • This treatment involves a mix of online counselling sessions and equipping youths with self-management strategies

A group of clinicians and researchers at the Swinburne Psychology Clinic have developed a mental health treatment program for youths experiencing distress related to COVID-19.

“We know from past research that at-risk youths between the ages of 13 and 18 can develop pandemic-related anxiety and depression with symptoms including sleep problems, contamination fears and feeling worried about family members getting sick,” says Psychology lecturer, Dr Chris Ludlow.

Equipping youths to manage anxiety and depression

To help these youths, Swinburne will be drawing on its expertise in treating child and adolescent mental health problems using cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and in delivering online psychological therapies.

The treatment program will include:

  • six sessions of online video counselling
  • teaching youths CBT skills to manage anxiety and depression
  • access to self-help materials that supplements therapy
  • optional parental involvement

The therapy will be delivered by intern psychologists and is guided by CBT principles.

This mental health treatment program will help youths experiencing pandemic-related distress

“The treatment program will provide youths with skills for managing pandemic-related worries. Youths will also be taught strategies to help them manage anxiety and depression unrelated to COVID-19, as pandemic-related distress can express itself in many different ways such as lack of sleep or worries about school,” Dr Ludlow explains.

“We hope to see improvements in mood and anxiety at the end of the treatment,” he adds.

Parents and youths can enquire about the program and make a referral by contacting the Swinburne Psychology Clinic at +613 9214 5528 or via email. This program is available to youths residing in Victoria and parental approval is required.

Helping the community

The Swinburne Psychology Clinic provides a unique avenue for individuals to access professional counselling on an ongoing basis at a low-cost. Additionally, the clinic plays a vital role in the training of future psychologists, providing them with the appropriate experience, training and clinical skills they need to work independently.

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