Our projects

Our projects

The Centre for Emotional Health undertakes first class research into the understanding, treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression and other emotional disorders which are some of the most common and greatest impact disorders of our society.

In addition to the studies outlined below, we also offer a number of treatment programs through our Centre for Emotional Health Clinic. Read more about our programs for children and adolescents and adults.

Studies for individuals

What’s it like to be the parent of a teenager?

Researchers: Carly Johnco & Ron Rapee

How do you handle their moodiness or depression?

It is common to see an increase in moodiness during adolescence, and sometimes even depression. As teenagers start to become more independent, it can be difficult for parents to know how to handle these feelings in their child.

We want to understand what it is like to be the parent of a teenager, and how you handle their moods. If you are the parent of a teen (13-17 years), please complete the anonymous online survey. 

You will receive individual feedback about whether your child is showing elevated levels of depressive symptoms, and will have the option to go into the draw to win one of five $50 Visa gift cards.

Start the 20-minute survey: https://mqedu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_511ralWcbJZ6ki9

Contact: carly.johnco@mq.edu.au or (02) 9850 6750

Recruitment end date: October 2017

Want to know if your child is emotionally and socially healthy?

Researchers: Ron Rapee, Carly Johnco, Ella Oar, Jasmine Fardouly & Natasha Magson

Children in year 6 are invited to participate in a study which will follow their emotional and social development over several years in a bid to further understand factors which promote emotional resilience and wellbeing. Participation requires completion of online questionnaires, phone interviews to screen the child's emotional wellbeing, and lab activities each year at Macquarie. Parents will be informed if their child's wellbeing is cause for concern.

Participating families will receive $100 and a ‘thank you pack’ each year they take part in the project. There are opportunities to be involved in competitions and receive prizes throughout the year.

If you’re interested or would like more details, please contact: (02) 9850 4080 or email: rawproject@mq.edu.au or visit rawproject.com.au

Recruitment end date: July 2017

Gifts! Why do we love them?


Researchers: Melissa Norberg, Jessica Grisham & Cathy Kwok

We are trying to understand why people like to receive gifts. If you love receiving gifts, please consider participating in this study. The study involves completing a mental visualisation task and answering a number of questions about your thoughts on potential gifts.

Complete the survey: http://tinyurl.com/prescreener to find out if you’re eligible to participate

Email: Cathy at bsl@mq.edu.au 

Recruitment end date: September 2017

Treating anxiety and depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Researchers: Viviana Wuthrich & Ron Rapee

We are trialling a new psychological treatment program to manage anxiety and depression in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Interested participants who are over the age of 50 years who suffer from moderate to severe levels of anxiety or depression can find out more information by calling (02) 9850 8034. This project is supported by a Seeding Grant from NSW Parkinson’s Association.

Contact Kate on (02) 9850 8034

Recruitment end date: June 2017

Studies for schools

Preventing anxiety and victimisation through education (PAVe)

Researcher: Sally Fitzpatrick

PAVe is an exciting new research intervention project being conducted in NSW and WA primary schools.

PAVe will evaluate two evidence-based programs in free-of-charge schools:

  • Friendly Schools Plus: a strengths-based, whole-of-school program designed to enhance students’ social and emotional learning and foster the prevention of bullying behaviours
  • Cool Kids Taking Control: a strengths-based, targeted program designed to build resilience in those children who have been targeted by bullying

What outcomes should schools expect by participating in PAVe?

  • Development of students’ social and emotional competencies
  • Improved student recognition and regulation of emotions
  • Positive peer relationships in the playground
  • Increased resilience and self-concept for students
  • A reduction in bullying behaviours at your school

The program that each school will receive is decided randomly.

If you would like more information, contact the project manager Dr Sally Fitzpatrick on (02) 9850 8097 or email: sally.fitzpatrick@mq.edu.au.

The Emotional Health Project: reducing anxiety and depression in female youth

Researcher: Anna McKinnon

The Emotional Health Project is funded by the Australian Research Council. It aims to understand how genes and cognitive factors interact with the environment to affect girls’ anxiety and depression over time. Students at schools that participate in the Emotional Health Project in 2016 will receive an efficacious cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program (Chilled@School) that promotes resilience and healthy responses to stress. Students will also gain hands-on experience with world-class clinical research.

We are seeking expressions of interest from Sydney girls' high schools to join the Emotional Health Project.

Students at schools that participate in the Emotional Health Project in 2016 will receive:

  • An efficacious cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program that promotes resilience and healthy responses to stress
  • Hands-on experience with world-class clinical research

To register your interest please contact Anna McKinnon on (02) 9850 9163 or anna.mckinnon@mq.edu.au.

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