Cool Kids Anxiety Program details

If your child aged seven to 12 years old is displaying signs of anxiety, find out how you can get involved in the Cool Kids Anxiety Program.

We would like to inform you that the Cool Kids Anxiety Program is at full capacity until term 1 2025.

Our Bungee Youth Resilience program offers an evidence-based anxiety program for children and young people called the Cool Kids Anxiety Program. The following information explains what the program involves and who may find the program helpful.

About the program

The Cool Kids Anxiety Program is a structured 10-session program that teaches children and their parents how to better manage a child’s anxiety. It is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), involves the participation of children and parents, and focuses on teaching practical skills. Topics covered include:

  • learning about feelings and anxiety
  • learning to think more realistically
  • parenting an anxious child
  • fighting fear by facing fear
  • coping skills, such as building social confidence and problem-solving.

Cool Kids was developed by Macquarie University and has been running since 1993. The program has undergone continual scientific evaluation and development to include the latest understanding of anxiety and its treatment.

Most young people who complete the program show significant improvement in social and academic engagement, as well as decreases in worry, shyness, fear and family distress.

How the Cool Kids program is delivered

Cool Kids sessions are run by two accredited facilitators. Each group usually has six to 10 children of a similar age. Groups run for about an hour and a half and are held once a week for 10 weeks during term.

Parents/caregivers will be invited to attend three separate sessions spread across the program and will be asked to help their children between sessions to practice skills at home and at school.

Children who will benefit from Cool Kids

We offer the Cool Kids Anxiety Program to children aged seven to 12 years old whose main struggle is with anxiety. Cool Kids covers a broad range of fears and worries, including:

  • Separation fears: children who worry that something bad will happen when separated from a parent/caregiver. They often refuse to separate (for example, won’t go to school, sleep over at friends’ houses or be left at home with a sitter).
  • Social fears: children who are shy and who worry about what others think of them. They avoid social situations and performing, and often have difficulty making friends.
  • Specific fears: children with fears of particular objects or situations like dogs or water. The fear is so bad that they avoid situations where they might come across that fear.
  • Generalised anxiety: children who are worriers. They worry about many different areas, including school work, competition, family and anything new. They ask for reassurance and may feel sick, get headaches or have trouble sleeping.

Cool Kids is not suitable for children whose main problem is low mood, aggression, hyperactivity, oppositional behaviour if they are autistic.

What is involved

Step 1: Enquiry and expression of interest

When parents/caregivers submit an enquiry, we provide them with program information to help them consider whether their children might benefit from the program.

If they determine that the program could be beneficial, parents/caregivers are encouraged to complete a registration form, an intake form and a privacy and confidentiality form. All forms must be returned to be considered for the program.

Completed forms should be returned to They will be reviewed by the facilitators, who will then contact families to book an initial intake assessment or discuss alternative support options.

Step 2: Initial assessment

To determine if participating in a Cool Kids group is likely to be beneficial, we will conduct an assessment with both the child and their caregiver. This includes completing questionnaires and answering questions about the child’s anxiety and its impact on day-to-day life.

We will ask children and their caregivers to complete these questionnaires again at the end of the program to track progress and to obtain feedback.

Step 3: Join the Cool Kids group or referral to other services

We will notify families about the outcome of the assessment by email. Depending on the situation, this will either be an invitation to join a group, or suggestions of other, more appropriate, services.

Program costs

CRCS does not charge a fee for the Cool Kids Anxiety Program; however, it is a requirement to purchase a child and a parent workbook, which costs $60. Extra workbooks are available for $30 each.

CRCS does not charge a fee for the Cool Kids Anxiety Program; however, it is a requirement to purchase a child and a parent workbook, which costs $60. Extra workbooks are available for $30 each.

Workbooks are paid for at the Belconnen Community Centre Reception (located at 23 Swanson Ct, Belconnen ACT 2617) and books will be provided by the facilitators at the first session.

If you need assistance with these costs, please reach out to one of the facilitators by emailing If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us on 0437 955 235.

CRCS employees Dechen Choden and Molly Havyatt are accredited by Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health to use the Cool Kids Anxiety Program. The intellectual property rights, including copyright, in the Program are owned by Macquarie University. Macquarie University does not endorse any particular provider of the program and their other services.

Capital Region Community Services runs Cool Kids through the Bungee program, which is supported by the ACT Health Directorate.


We would like to inform you that the Cool Kids Anxiety Program is at full capacity until term 1 2025.

We are now taking expressions of interest for the 2024 Cool Kids programs. To register your interest, find out more or discuss the programs, please contact the team:

Phone: 02 6264 0200