Dr Lou Farrer

PhD (Clinical Psychology)
Senior Research Fellow/DECRA Fellow
College of Health & 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
  • Use of 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 at The ANU. She currently holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to examine how digital mental health interventions are used in clinical practice (2019-2023). Dr Farrer aims to use these and other data to develop guidelines to optimise the use of digital tools by practitioners in the Australian mental health care system.

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 interests are in the development, evaluation, and implementation of technology-based mental health programs. 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. 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 a virtual mental health clinic designed specifically for tertiary student populations (The Uni Virtual Clinic).

Researcher's projects

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

Current student projects

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

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

Past student projects

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:  25 September 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers