Dr Lou Farrer is a Senior Research Fellow and Psychologist at the Centre for Mental Health Research at ANU.
Dr Farrer currently holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to examine how digital mental health interventions are implemented in clinical practice (2019-2024). She 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’s research has recently focused on the role of telehealth in mental health care.
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 interventions and tools. 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 also has expertise in the mental health of higher education students, and currently leads a program of research involving the redevelopment and national evaluation of the Uni Virtual Clinic, and a longitudinal study examining the mental health trajectories of students transitioning to university.