what you need to know
How much does it cost?
At the moment, the BRAVE Self Help Program is made available as part of ongoing research projects at The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland and Griffith University. Participation in these projects is free but is only open to Australians.
Who can use BRAVE self-help?
Any young person who worries about things will find BRAVE useful. Any parent wanting to learn more about how to help their young person overcome worries can also do the program. You can do the program on your own, or together.
Is this program going to help me if I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Brave Self-Help is an online program that treats and prevents anxiety in children and teenagers, specifically those with social anxiety, separation anxiety, generalised anxiety and specific phobia. Although children and teenagers with PTSD and OCD may benefit from the strategies taught in this program, this program does not specifically target OCD or PTSD. If you are seeking help specifically for OCD or PTSD, we recommend that you seek assistance from a Psychologist, or approach your general practitioner for a referral.
How much time and effort is required to complete the BRAVE program?
Our results tell us that the more time you spend working through BRAVE, the more you are going to benefit. Remember, there are 10 sessions and each session can take between 30–60 minutes to complete. Plus we recommend you do some practice in between your weekly sessions. Like most things, the more your practice, the better you will get at being BRAVE.
I live outside Australia—can I access BRAVE?
At the moment, we restrict access to the BRAVE Self Help Program to Australian research participants so that we don’t accidentally break any privacy or health technology laws in other countries. We’re working on opening up this access— please be patient with us.
Will I do better if my parents are doing the program too?
It’s okay if you want to do the program by yourself, but sometimes you might find that it’s easier if you have your mum, dad or a support person helping you. There are also parent programs that teach your parents the strategies you will be learning throughout your program and will also teach them ways to help you use helpful thoughts, relaxation techniques and other strategies.
Does using the BRAVE Program mean that I don’t need to see a doctor?
The BRAVE Program is intended to help children and teenagers overcome anxiety by teaching strategies for managing anxiety-provoking situations. If you are seeking a diagnosis or treatment of depression, severe anxiety or other mental health problems, consult a medical practitioner or mental health professional. Please note that the information on this website is not a substitute for a diagnosis and treatment by an appropriate health professional. If you feel like your anxiety is not improving than please consult a medical practitioner or mental health professional.
Do I have to do the sessions in order?
Yes, each session of The BRAVE Program builds on the session before, so all of the sessions need to be completed in order. You will not be able to start Session 2 unless you have finished Session 1 and so on. After you complete one session, the program will open up the next session for you to begin. The BRAVE Team suggests that you finish the program and return to do the Booster sessions when you feel like you need to be reminded.
Do I have to do every session?
No, how much you do of the program is completely up to you. So you can do as little, or as much of the program as you want, and you can do it at times that suit you. If you decide to stop doing the program, you can come back at any time and pick up where you left off.
How often should I do a session?
To get the best results, The BRAVE Team suggests that you should try to do one session every 7 days so that you have time to practice what you have learnt before the next session. But, you can do them quicker if you need to!
Can I stop in the middle of a session and come back later to the same spot?
Yes, you can keep going from where you left off if you leave a session before completing it. But remember, you won’t be able to use the information in the resource folder until that session is completed.
Can anyone help me if I get stuck?
This is a self-help program. There are lots of tips and information in each session to help you finish it. However, if you are having trouble you should get help from your mum, dad or support person. Sometimes your school counsellor may be able to help you, so ask them if they know about The BRAVE Program.
What are 'Resources'?
In the Resources tab on the homepage you will find a Resource Folder, the Relaxation Room and Brave Ladders.
- Resource Folder: here you will find worksheets of challenges, fact sheets, and information worksheets that The Brave Team have provided for you to complete before you start the next session. Home Practice worksheets will help you think about, and practice the strategies you have learned during the session.
- Relaxation Room: This has Relaxation tracks that you can listen to, so that you can practice relaxation techniques at any time. You can play and listen to them online or download them to listen to later.
- Brave Ladders: These become available after Session 5 for children and Session 6 for teens. The Brave Ladder is an interactive feature that can be used to break down a fear or worry into smaller steps to help you gradually work towards overcoming your feared situation. This is a very important step!
Where do I find 'Resources'?
Click on the word Resources which you can find at the top of the Session Homepage. Then click on the Resource Folder and then the session home practice worksheets and other information. Click on the Relaxation Room to download or listen to relaxation tracks. Click on BRAVE Ladders to create your own ladders.
Health Professional FAQs
I'm a therapist and I want to monitor my patient's use of BRAVE. How can I do this?
The Therapist-Assisted version of BRAVE has been successfully trialled in our research studies and we are working on ways to develop it into a clinical use product. We would be happy to let you know when it is available.
Register for advance notification here.
In the meantime, if your patient is in Australia, they can participate in our research projects and access the Self-Help version. Young people can share their self-help program progress with a support person, if they choose to.
What is a parent program?
Parent programs are stand-alone programs where parents receive training in how to assist their child to implement anxiety management strategies. Examples are also provided to help manage situations where children commonly become anxious. The parent programs are shorter than the youth programs (6 sessions for child parents; 5 sessions for teen parents). If you do not have a child registered with the BRAVE Program, you can still complete a parent program.
Do I need to register separately for a parent account?
A parent account is not automatically created when a child/teen account is created. As there can only be 1 account per email, you will need to register separately with a different email address, for either the Child Parent Program or the Teen Parent Program. Please note: a parent account does not give you access to your child’s account.
My child is younger than 8 years old—can they still do the program?
The child program is designed for 8–12 year olds. Children under 8 years of age will likely not have the reading capacity to complete the program and may also find some of the concepts difficult to understand. If you cannot access alternative assistance, we recommend that you first do the Child-Parent program yourself. Should you still want your 7-year-old to complete the program, please work through it together. Alternatively, consider doing the parent program for children ages 3–7 years.
What happens if my child indicates they are distressed—will you contact me?
The Self-Help version is not monitored by clinicians and is not designed to be used as a crisis service. The program incorporates in-built assessments of anxiety and sends alert emails to the young person themselves when they report high levels of distress in their assessment responses.
School Counsellor FAQs
I’m a school counsellor and I’d like to use this program with students who have anxiety—how can I do this?
The Therapist-Assisted version of BRAVE has been successfully trialled in our studies and we are working on ways to develop it into a clinical use product. We would be happy to let you know when it is available.
Register for advance notification here.
In the meantime, if your student is in Australia, they can participate in our research projects and access the Self-Help version. Young people can share their self-help program progress with a support person, if they choose to.
As yet, formal research on the BRAVE Program has not extended to its implementation in school settings or small groups however, the program is increasingly being implemented and used within school settings with positive results. Feedback from some school counsellors who have used the Self-Help version with students in this way suggests that they find it useful to share a ‘common language’ with young people when discussing anxiety and worries, and that the program has been very helpful for children identified with anxiety. It’s important to note that if you do use the BRAVE Self Help Program in this way, you will not have access to your students’ accounts, unless they share their responses with you.
I'm a teacher and I'd like my whole class to use BRAVE—how can I do this?
The BRAVE Program is not a general well-being program, so we don’t recommend its use as a ‘whole class’ activity.
Technology & Programming FAQs
Is my information safe and private?
We take your privacy and information security very seriously and adopt industry best practice to protect transmission of data. Like most things, the internet is not without risk. It’s important for you to keep your login details safe and report any security issues or concerns to us. We may use your data to make sure the software works as intended and to do further research. We will take all reasonable steps to de-identify your data to protect your privacy.
Will my parents see what I write in the program?
No—we do not share your data with your parents, teachers, or counsellors. You have the option of nominating someone to receive your BRAVE Ladder progress, but you don’t have to nominate anyone if you don’t want to.
What devices can the program be used on?
You can use the BRAVE Program on a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet (e.g., iPad). Please note that the sound files do not work on iPads but this does not affect the program content in any way. The relaxation tracks can still be downloaded and played.
Why am I getting a 'forbidden' message when I try to log on to the program?
The BRAVE Program is only available to people within Australia—we would be happy to let you know when it is available. Register for advance notification here. If you are logging on from within Australia, please check that you don’t have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or some other program hiding your location. Your IP address must show that you are in Australia for the program to work.
I am having trouble playing the videos or relaxation exercises. What can I do?
Depending on your internet connection sometimes playing a video can be slow and it might start and stop every now and then. It would be helpful if you pause the video or audio track at the start for a minute or so, and wait for it to load. If the video or audio file isn’t playing online, you can try downloading the file and playing it through a ‘media player’.
Other things you can try:
- Try closing any open programs (other than your web browser)
- Try closing any open programs (other than your web browser)
- Try closing the internet page and ‘clearing the cache and cookies’ for that day (you might need your mum and dad’s help with this one!)
- Try turning your computer off and on again
What if I can't get to the next page?
If you have reached the end of a session and the ‘Next’ button hasn’t appeared, it usually means that you have not answered all of the questions in the session. You will need to go back through the pages and make sure that all of the questions are answered by entering a response into every available answer box. You may also have to click on different buttons to reveal information, and to bring up pop-up messages or new screens before you are able to move on to the next session.
What happens if I have a problem opening the program?
If you see an error page, your computer may have saved a default address for the program that is no longer active. Usually, this problem can be fixed by clearing your ‘history’ or deleting cookies. You can google how to do this for your browser (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, internet explorer, Safari) if you’re not sure how, or you can email us.
I can’t get any sounds to work when I’m using my iPad, is there something wrong?
Unfortunately, sounds from the program won’t work on iPads, so you won’t be able to hear anything. This does not affect any program content as the sounds are there for fun. Don’t worry, you can still listen to the relaxation tracks as these are a different type of sound file. The sound should work on all other Apple and Windows devices, just not on iPads—we apologise for any inconvenience!
What do I do if I forget my password?
At the bottom of the login box there is a link that says ‘I forgot my password’. Click on this and enter your email address when prompted. You will then receive an email from the BRAVE Team with another link to reset your password. If you are logging on from a school computer make sure that your school adds the BRAVE email address to their accepted emails list. Sometimes these computers won’t receive our password reset emails because they may think they’re spam—if so, ask your computer specialists to add BRAVE emails to their accepted lists. Make sure you check your ‘Junk mail’ if you don’t receive the reset email.
What if my login details are correct and I still can't access the program?
Do you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which is hiding your computer’s IP address? The BRAVE Program must recognise the computer as being within Australia. You will have to turn off any VPN while you use the BRAVE Program.
You may have been directed to an old version of the program via an internet search. If so you won’t be able to login as it won’t recognise your login details, even if they are correct. Save this link to your favourites for easier access in the future.