Brave for Young Children program helps children as young as 3 manage anxiety

by Freya Lucas

November 22

Researchers from Griffith University and the University of Southern Queensland have launched a new online program, designed to support children as young as three to manage their anxiety. The BRAVE for Young Children program has been launched in conjunction with beyondblue.  

 

The BRAVE for Young Children program is designed to treat anxiety in young children aged 3-7 years and teaches parents new strategies to manage and reduce their child’s anxious behaviour. Consisting of four online sessions, each with a different focus, the program is designed to address the 10 – 20 per cent of young children suffering from anxiety.

 

Associate Professor Caroline Donovan, one of the report authors, from Griffith’s School of Applied Psychology said “Despite myths that all children simply ‘grow out of it,’ anxiety tends to persist if left untreated and is a risk factor for later anxiety, depression, and academic problems”

 

“It is therefore important that anxiety is treated as early as possible in the preschool years. Unfortunately, more than 40% of young children with anxiety are not treated, despite the fact that psychologists can treat youth anxiety well.” Professor Donovan said.

 

The program aims to address the number of barriers that get in the way of parents accessing treatment for their young children including cost, time, waiting-lists and stigma, and is free to all Australian families More than 28,000 Australian families have already registered for the BRAVE for Children programs.

 

Associate Professor Caroline Donovan and Professor Sue Spence, as well as Associate Professor Sonja March from University of Southern Queensland, have been conducting clinical trials on the BRAVE Programs for many years, with results suggesting that the online programs can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy.

 

The researchers said it is their hope that by increasing access to high-quality, evidence-based treatment for anxiety problems in young Australian children, that the lifelong problems otherwise faced by these youngsters, will be prevented.

 

The program is available through the beyondblue website or directly at https://brave4you.psy.uq.edu.au/

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