A series of short YouTube videos developed by Griffith University researcher Professor Emeritus Sue Spence AO aims to help alleviate young people’s stress and anxiety about COVID-19.

Based on the BRAVE program, an evidence-based treatment for youth anxiety, the videos teach skills for relaxation, positive thinking and coping with stress and worry. The program is a partnership that also includes Associate Professor Caroline Donovan from Griffith University and colleagues from the University of Southern Queensland and University of Queensland’s Uniquest.

Professor Emeritus Sue Spence AO

Professor Emeritus Sue Spence AO

Professor Emeritus Spence AO, from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention and the School of Applied Psychology said she hoped the video series would be of enormous value to young people around the world concerned about the impact of COVID-19.

“Many children and teenagers are feeling anxious about the situation, with much uncertainty about what will happen and how long the problem is likely to last.

“Coping with the COVID-19 situation is extremely difficult for many young people. Their daily routines are disrupted, they are missing direct contact with their friends, and it is difficult for many of them to be confined at home with their families.

“Although many adults are also experiencing stress from the COVID-19 events, adults usually have more understanding of the events and a bit more control over their lives. This lack of control can be particularly worrying for children.”

The videos teach skills for relaxed breathing, body and muscle relaxation, calm mind meditation, and positive thinking skills. They also provide tips for coping better with life at the time of COVID-19. They are freely available for children and teenagers.