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12 October 2021

Online program for parents of anxious children and teens now free thanks to government funding to support community mental health

As governments around the world look for ways to support young people’s mental health, two Australian jurisdictions are leading the way by funding free access to Fear-Less Triple P Online, an evidence-based program helping parents to develop their child’s or teenager’s anxiety-management skills.

Fear-Less Triple P is based on more than 10 years of research and is the latest in the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® suite of programs. Fear-Less Triple P helps parents understand more about anxiety, and how they can support their child’s ability to manage fear and worry and become more confident and emotionally resilient.


A combined population of approximately 11.9 million people now have free access to the Fear-Less Triple P Online program, funded by the state governments of both Queensland and Victoria.


Face-to-face delivery of the Fear-Less Triple P program is also being made available in many regions around the world, and the online version of the program is also available for purchase in some regions.


Co-author of the Fear-Less Triple P program and Professor at The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology, Dr Vanessa Cobham, says that the funding allows parents who are concerned about their children’s anxiety to get immediate help.


This is especially important as demand for mental health practitioners far outstrips supply in many regions, due to existing high rates of anxiety compounded by the effects of COVID-19.


“Families now have easily accessible parenting guidance that they can use when needed at home to support their children’s mental health and wellbeing,” Professor Cobham said, speaking on the launch of the new funding in the Australian state of Victoria.


“Now more than ever, parents and children are living with increased levels of anxiety and stress due to the pandemic. Research conducted last year found that children who experienced the second lockdown in Victoria were two to five times more likely to score in the ‘high’ to ‘very high’ range for symptoms of anxiety, anger, depression, or sleep disturbance than children in other states [see reference below][1].


“Ongoing outbreaks of the virus and the increased level of restrictions will be stressful for many families– we want to support parents and children to manage this in the long term.


“Parents play an important role in helping their children learn how to manage anxiety effectively. The Fear-Less Triple P Online program helps parents to set a good example of coping with anxiety; coach children to develop effective anxiety management tools and generally become more emotionally resilient; and know how to best support their children when they are anxious.


“Without this type of support, we can expect to see a spike in stress, anxiety and depression, which will stay with families long after the health crisis is over,” she said.


Triple P International Country Director, Carol Markie-Dadds, said Triple P International is proud to be partnering with both the Queensland Government and the Victorian Government to offer free programs, including Triple P Online and Teen Triple P Online, as part of the funding arrangement.

[1] De Young, A., Paterson, R., March, S., Hoehn, E., Alisic., Cobham, V., Donovan, C., Middeldorp, C., Gash, T., and Vasileva, M. (2021). COVID-19 Unmasked Young Children Report 2: Impact of the second wave in Australia on the mental health of young children and parents.