Tier 2: Early Intervention and Cohort Specific Support
Cool Kids provides a suite of programs that help young people to manage anxiety and emotional distress. It teaches young people practical skills to help reduce anxious and overcome heightened anxiety and/or anxiety disorders.
This school version of the program aims to provide early intervention for youth with heightened symptoms of anxiety. There are separate versions for primary school and high school students. Programs are delivered by an accredited provider, most commonly the school counsellor/psychologist.
The program is delivered to either groups of students or to an individual student who meets with a school-based Cool Kids provider and is supported by a range of resources.
Each school requires at least one accredited provider. Training can be provided online at a cost of $300 (inc. GST) and an additional $300 (inc. GST) for accreditation. Discounts can be negotiated for multiple enrolments. Each provider requires their own master set of program guidelines costing $149.95 (inc. GST).
Each student requires a set of program materials - either printed workbooks at $49.95 (inc. GST) or the online program with 12 months of access at $125 (inc. GST).
Target population: Students aged 7-17.
Program adaptability: Some flexibility is built into the program for local delivery, but significant adaptations are not anticipated.
Staffing: Each school requires at least one accredited provider. Backfill should not be required as the program is commonly run by the school counsellor/ psychologist. Providers must have a 4 year undergraduate or 2 year postgraduate degree in health (psychology, counselling, social work, occupational therapy) or education, in addition to training in cognitive-behavioural therapy.
Training requirements: Providers must complete the Cool Kids training course, which can be completed online, and complete an accreditation process. Accreditation lasts 5 years and includes access to additional therapeutic resources. Accreditation is renewable and involves a short webinar on the latest research and reflection on complex cases. Training and accreditation can be conducted online or via in-person workshop in specific regions by negotiation.
Factors to consider: There is no minimum number of participants. Face-to-face delivery can be individual or in groups of 6-10. The program involves 8-10 sessions of 40-50-min sessions, plus two, 120-min caregiver evenings or access to the online program.
Australian context: The program has been developed, evaluated and applied in Australia.
Strength of Evidence
Level 4: Established evidence for program (supported by quality research evidence)
• Reduction in anxiety
• Reduction in negative attitudes and beliefs
• Improved social connections, family relationships, and school connections
• Reduced school absences