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
  • Health, Clinical And Counselling Psychology 170106

Research interests

  • e-mental health
  • Telehealth
  • Prevention and treatment research
  • Depression and anxiety disorders
  • University student mental health
  • Implementation science


Dr Lou Farrer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research in the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the ANU. She 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 interests are in the development, evaluation, and implementation of technology-based mental health interventions. 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 technology, clinical service delivery, and research, namely, exploring different methods of supporting users of digital interventions, examining factors that predict response and adherence to these programs, and investigating models of disseminating and implementing online interventions in different settings. Dr Farrer previously held an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to examine how digital mental health interventions are implemented in clinical practice in Australia (2019-2024).

Dr Farrer also has expertise in the mental health of higher education students, and currently leads a program of research involving the evaluation and implementation of digital tools for improving university student mental health. She also conducts research examining the prevalence, correlates, and trajectories of mental health problems in university students.

Researcher's projects

  • Use of telehealth and digital mental health tools in clinical practice
  • Effectiveness of brief e-mental health interventions with university students
  • Uni Virtual Clinic project
  • ImpleMentAll project
  • Suicide in university students project
  • UniStart project

Available student projects

Telehealth use by mental health professionals during COVID-19

Implementation of digital tools among mental health professionals

E-mental health interventions for university students

Examining the mental health and wellbeing of university students

Current student projects

PhD students:

2019 - current: Isabelle Yujuico. Responses to suicide disclosure. 

2020 - current: Hayley Jackson. Predicting and facilitating engagement with digital mental health interventions.

2021 - current: Jennifer Wheeler. Growing beyond trauma – promoting Post Traumatic Growth literacy and outcomes in cohorts exposed to trauma.

2022 - current: Karuna Nair. Social media and body image.

2023 - current: Andy Lyu. Suicide gate-keeper programs in low and middle income countries.

2022- current: Aarthi Ganapathy: Mental health professionals' use of technology.

Clinical Masters students:

2021 - current: Jessica Nguyen. Online or e-interventions for young people with borderline personality disorder or BPD features.

2022 - current: Shima Golmohammadi. Appearance and functionality writing tasks and body image.

Past student projects

2023 Medical student: Betina Ferreira: "Predictors of functioning and academic self-efficacy in first year students transitioning to university".

2023 PhB student: Jessica Klose: "Positives and negatives of telehealth use".

2021 Medical student: Taliah Wysoke. "Examining helpseeking in a longitudinal cohort study of mental wellbeing in Australian university students as they transition to university".

2020 PhD candidate: Kathina Ali: "Help-seeking barriers and online peer-to-peer support for eating disorders".

2019 Public Health Hons candidate: Lachlan Viali: "Effectiveness of co-design in online mental health programs for depression"

2018 Masters of Public Health (Adv) candidate: Amelia Yazidjoglou: “Combining work and study: time and health trade-offs”

2018 PhD candidate: Marita Cooper: “Getting shredded: Improving our understanding of muscle dysmorphia and related symptomology”

2018 PhD candidate: 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:  18 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers