Taking the worry out of school: Understanding anxiety and building confidence in anxious school students
Professor Ronald M Rapee
Distinguished Professor and ARC Laureate Fellow,
Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Anxiety disorders affect 5-10% of young people and can seriously affect peer relationships, grades, health, and school engagement. In fact children suffering anxiety are away from school more and are more likely to drop out of school than non-anxious youth. Finding effective ways to reduce anxiety is important both for improved quality of life and educational benefits. In this talk I will describe ways that anxiety is expressed by children and discuss the impact and experience of anxiety among students. I will discuss ways in which schools might screen for and recognise their students who are highly anxious. Finally, I will explore how schools might best handle anxiety, both at the classroom and at the broader school level. I will draw on the Cool Kids programs and explore different models that schools can use to maximally reduce anxiety and build the confidence of their pupils.

About Ron

Ron Rapee is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. Professor Rapee specializes in mental health, especially in anxiety and related disorders across the lifespan. He has developed a number of evidence-based treatment programs that are used across the world, including the Cool Kids program that is now translated into more than a dozen languages and used in over 25 countries. His recent work has focused on prevention of anxiety and depression as well as on public dissemination and access to empirically validated programs. Prof Rapee received the Distinguished Career Award from the Australian Association for CBT and the Distinguished Contribution to Science Award from the Australian Psychological Society. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his contributions to clinical psychology, especially among young people.