Centre for Emotional Health

Centre for Emotional Health

Centre for Emotional Health

Conducting research to further the understanding of emotional disorders and improving treatment, across the life span.

Centre for Emotional Health researchers concentrate on the understanding, treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression and related mental health problems. Internationally renowned for our research into anxiety, including several ‘world-first’ findings, we have a special focus on children and families but also conduct research that focuses on emotional disorders and wellbeing across the lifespan.

CEH is a Macquarie University Centre for Research Excellence established in 2007. It includes the Centre for Emotional Health Clinic, a practising research clinic.

The community is an integral part of our Centre. We welcome members of the public to our clinic and we collaborate with schools to improve the lives of children. Participation from the public is vital to many of our research projects.

Our focus is to always translate our research findings into practice.

Strategic research priorities

Our Mission: To promote emotional health through the scientific evaluation of the understanding and management of anxiety and other emotional health difficulties across the lifespan.

Our Vision: To build an emotionally healthy community through science and practice.

We have identified four key directions for our research for 2020-2022.

Mechanisms of emotional health

The world is moving rapidly in improving the understanding of genetic, biochemical, cognitive, behavioural and environmental factors underlying anxiety and related disorders like depression. Further work, especially related to development of emotional health, is needed.  Many members of the CEH have interests in basic processes underpinning emotional distress.  More focused and co-ordinated research directions may lead to stronger outputs.  Strengthening our expertise in basic underlying processes in fields such as genetics, epigenetics, psychophysiology, and nueroscience would be beneficial and would position us well for future success.  Over the next three years, our goal is to develop an improved understanding of the factors that relate to, predict and influence emotional health across the lifespan.

Improving interventions

While treatments for anxiety are broadly successful not all individuals benefit, and some are susceptible to relapse.  In addition, treatments for some anxiety disorders, and for some co-occuring disorders do not have the same success rates as other anxiety disorders.  Thus, many CEH researchers are invested in improving treatment outcomes in the short-term and in the long-term.  Our research strives to develop and evaluate treatments tailored to the individual rather than a one size fits all approach. This work is intertwined with understanding the mechanisms underlying anxiety and related disorders as well as understanding the mechanisms of change underlying treatment.

Translation, dissemination and implementation

A key strength of the Centre is our translation of research findings into practice.  Using knowledge from our research on mechanisms of emotional disorders, we develop and evaluate interventions designed to treat anxiety disorders and related difficulties. Our interventions are then made available to clients, families and health professionals, both within our Clinic and broadly, by training health professionals around the world.

Over the next three years we want to strengthen our efforts in three areas.  First, we will improve access to services, particularly to those in rural or remote communities, by delivering our evidence-based programs online.  Second, we will ensure the integrity of our services remain high through the accreditation process for the dissemination of CEH resources.  Finally, we will endeavour to make the CEH Clinic a sought-after resource for the community and a source of expert advice.  Our goal is to improve our Clinic service by ensuring our clinicians are of the highest quality and are fully briefed in evidence-based practice.

Promotion and prevention

One of our priorities in the Centre will be to increase public knowledge about emotional health across the lifespan and become a stronger voice in the media regarding the understanding, intervention and prevention of emotional health problems.  Over the next three years, we will focus on improving the promotion of not only our research findings, but also on improving the promotion of emotional health of the community.  Importantly, a key strength is our expertise in children's emotional health.  We believe building emotional health in childhood sets the stage for a healthy and productive life.  Thus, if we can prevent anxiety disorders in young people, this will have a significant impact on individuals across the lifespan.  Our Centre currently conducts a number of prevention trials, both at the universal and targeted level, aimed at reducing the prevalence of anxiety and related disorders across the lifespan. Over the next few years, we will use this data to prepare and submit reports to the government, outlining the benefits of intervention and prevention programs for emotional health problems across the lifespan.

Strategic objectives

From 2020 to 2022, the CEH has five priority areas. We will:

Lead: Be a world-leader in emotional health research

Collaborate: Be the collaborator of choice for emotional health research

Train: Prepare world-ready HDR candidates, early career researchers and clinicians

Translate: Be the leader in translating research findings into practice

Communicate: Improve public knowledge about emotional health across the lifespan

Back to the top of this page