College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Simon Wilksch is both a researcher and clinician in the area of eating disorders. He is a Senior Research Fellow leading research projects in the area of eating disorder risk factors, prevention, early intervention and improving treatment experience and outcomes for patients and their families. Together with Tracey Wade, he developed Media Smart, a school-based eating disorder risk reduction program that has been found to have a range of beneficial results in large-scale RCTs. Media Smart is now available for schools to use.
An adapted online version, Media Smart Online, has been found to have both prevention and treatment effects for eating disorder symptoms and to prevent the onset of related comobird problems (e.g., depressive symptoms, sucidality). This has now been expanded to the current I am Media Smart trial open to all Australians aged 13-25 years who wish to improve their body image.
Simon is also investigating the relationship between social media use and disordered eating in young adolescents. Finally, he is conducting an Australia-wide survey of parents who have had a child experience an eating disorder to systematically examine parents’ experience of seeking treatment for their child.
He has given 35 conference presentations, and has a further 30 presentations for other audiences (e.g., GPs, schools, parents). He has been awarded six competitive grants (four as CIA) and has contributed in many ways to the field including being the Scientific Chair for the 2019 Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders Conference.
Simon is also a Clinic Director at Advanced Psychology Services, a large service providing treatment to children, adolescents and adults experiencing an eating disorder.
2008: Australian Psychology Society Award for Excellent PhD in Psychology; 2013: University Vice Chancellors Award for Early Career Researchers; 2019: Inside Out Award for Best Research Paper at the 2019 Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders Conference.
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