Dr Lou Farrer

PhD (Clinical Psychology)
Senior Research Fellow
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Mental Health 111714
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117

Research interests

e-mental health, prevention and treatment research, depression and anxiety disorders, technology in mental health care, university student mental health, implementation science


Dr Lou Farrer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research. Dr Farrer graduated with a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2011. Her thesis examined the effectiveness of Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy among users of Lifeline’s crisis counselling service.

Dr Farrer’s primary research interest is in the development, evaluation, and implementation of technology-based mental health treatment programs. To date, her research has focused on conducting trials of automated, online therapy programs targeting depression and anxiety disorders.  As a clinically-trained researcher, Dr Farrer is interested in the intersection of clinical service delivery and research, namely, exploring different methods for supporting users of online programs, examining factors that predict response and adherence to these programs, and trialling innovative models for disseminating and implementing online interventions in different settings. She is also interested in the mental health of university students, having recently completed a project funded by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre to develop and evaluate an innovative Virtual Clinic for mental health designed specifically for tertiary student populations (The Uni Virtual Clinic). She is also involved in research examining different pathways for implementing e-mental health services in the community. In 2018 Dr Farrer was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to examine how digital mental health interventions are used in clinical practice.

Researcher's projects

Use of digital mental health tools in practice

Uni Virtual Clinic Project

ImpleMentAll Project

Current student projects

2014 - current: Ms Kathina Ali. An effectiveness study of the benefits of online peer-to-peer support for young people at risk for eating disorders: ProYouth Oz.

Past student projects

2018 Masters of Public Health (Adv) candidate:

Ms Amelia Yazidjoglou: “Combining work and study: time and health trade-offs”

2018 PhD candidate:

Ms Marita Cooper: “Getting shredded: Improving our understanding of muscle dysmorphia and related symptomology”

2012-2018 PhD candidate:

Ms Rebecca Randall: “I want to do something positive with my experiences” – An exploration of young people’s perspectives on their involvement in youth mental health research”.



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Updated:  08 April 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers