Severe anxiety affects one in ten people. People suffering anxiety are also more likely to have other mental health difficulties such as depression and dementia. Dr Wuthrich’s research is focused on studying what causes and maintains anxiety disorders across the lifespan from young children to older adults, and on developing practical methods to assess and treat these disorders.
She has developed psychological therapy programs to treat anxiety in children and adolescents, and coexisting anxiety and depression in older adults. Scientific trials have shown that these programs are effective at reducing anxiety and depression and produce lasting benefits. Currently she is leading a world-first trial of a psychological program that reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults with anxiety and depression.
Viviana has made various media appearances including Channel 10’s ‘The Circle’, Triple J: Hack program, ABC National, Cosmopolitan magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald. She delivers talks to community groups such as Rotary and Probus as well as teachers, parents and students (at preschools, primary and high schools and university careers events). In 2011, she initiated an annual Mental Health Month (October) Public Lecture Series at Macquarie University, which attracts over 100 attendees annually.