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Maggie Alexander, Project Director – North Ryde Fun Run, presenting Jennie Hudson the cheque.

Dear CEH friend

I’m looking forward to being in touch with you on a quarterly basis via email.  If you have any questions about the Centre for Emotional Health (CEH), the research we do or the services we offer, you are welcome to contact me directly or our marketing officer barb.corapi@mq.edu.au

October was Mental Health Month and the CEH participated in a number of events to raise awareness about mental health.  In addition to our participation in Hat Day - an initiative designed by Australian Rotary Health as a national awareness and fundraising day for mental health research – we also participated in the North Ryde Fun Run. I’d like to extend a huge “thank you” to Rotary Club of North Ryde who donated $2500 from the funds raised from the Fun Run so that five youth living with anxiety can participate in the Cool Kids Anxiety Program treatment through the CEH Clinic.

Maggie Alexander, Project Director – North Ryde Fun Run, presented me the cheque recently. We look forward to supporting the Fun Run again next year.

I’d also like to acknowledge and thank Piccolo Me Café who, for a second year, ran a “Coffee for a Cause” event which raised $989 for the CEH.  An incredible result!  The money will be put towards the continued development of the Cool Kids Online treatment program.

The CEH also hosted a public lecture during Mental Health Month to discuss how to reduce the risk for cognitive decline and dementia – an area of research which is becoming more and more critical as our population ages.  The presentation is available for viewing

You may have seen the recent government announcement about mental health reforms.  We were encouraged to see a focus on funding for online treatments.  For some time now, the CEH has utilised online technology to deliver treatment to those who may not be able to access face-to-face therapy.  If you know someone who may benefit from accessing online treatment, they can find out more information about Cool Kids Online and Chilled Plus Online.

In June 2016, the World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies will be held in Melbourne, and as a result, many international academics in mental health will be in Australia. We have managed to secure two well-known experts for our Professional Workshop Series.  On Tuesday, 21 June, Professor Lars-Göran Öst, founder of CBT in Sweden, will conduct a workshop on one-session treatment of specific phobias and on Friday, 1 July, Professor Douglas Wood, from the USA, will present on behaviour therapy for Tourette Syndrome.  You can see the complete workshop schedule.  Be sure to save the date as registrations for workshops will open in early 2016.

In the media, this quarter, Dr Lauren McLellan discussed panic attacks with The Daily Edition and childhood anxiety on The Morning Show. Also featuring in the news was a study by recent PhD graduate Anna-Lisa Camberis, under the guidance of Associate Professor Cathy McMahon, which found older mothers are more flexible and more in tune with their babies needs than their younger counterparts.  

It has been a successful quarter for our researchers with three CEH members being awarded a Macquarie University Research Award (see full story below) and National Health and Medical Research Council funding being award to Professor Ron Rapee, Associate Professor Andrew Baillie, Doctor Viviana Wuthrich, Doctor Lauren McLellan and me.

I know this time of year can be extremely frantic and stressful with many of us trying to meet deadlines and finalise projects before the end of year.  I am busily completing outstanding work before I board a plan to the Netherlands for a conference on social anxiety disorder. But once finished I’m looking forward to some down time with my family over the holidays. I hope you too enjoy some relaxation over the holiday season and commence the new year with renewed energy and good mental health to take on the challenges of 2016.

Happy New Year!

Jennie Hudson
Professor, ARC Research Fellow
Director, Centre for Emotional Health
Macquarie University

Macquarie University Research Awards

CEH contingent at Macquarie University Research Awards

CEH contingent at Research Awards (l to r): Doctor Lauren McLellan, Doctor Viviana Wuthrich, Professor Jennie Hudson, Associate Professor Andrew Baillie, Jamie Nowlan, Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee, Doctor Carolyn Schniering, Barb Corapi

CEH members cleaned up at the MQ Research Awards held on 4 November, picking up three of the 11 awards on offer.

The Genes for Treatment study, which won Professor Jennie Hudson an Excellence in Research award, was part of a multi-site collaboration which included 15 institutions from around the globe. The study was able to identify individual characteristics in children which might lead to poorer outcomes following psychological treatment.

Associate Professor Kay Bussey received the Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision in recognition of her mentoring of HDR candidates and also staff members who are mentoring an HDR candidate for the first time.

Sexual dysfunction is not an area that typically springs to mind when thinking about emotional health. Dr Miriam Forbes explored the link between anxiety, depression and sexual dysfunction in the study which led to her Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research.

With our ageing population, treatments that support the emotional and mental wellbeing of older adults will become more critical. Jamie Nowlan's study on the effectiveness of positive reappraisal in older adults was Highly Commended for Excellence in Higher Degree Research.