The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety Awards Grant to the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University

The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety (AKFSA) has selected the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University as one of its 2015 grant recipients. AKFSA grants provide support to organizations focused on educational and outreach initiatives improving knowledge about and the treatment of social anxiety disorder.

The AKFSA grant will support the work of Dr. Page Anderson and her graduate student’s development of an Internet-based program to educate and treat those who suffer with social anxiety disorder, along with a clinic that will train doctoral students in clinical psychology to support those individuals as they complete the online program.

“Programs to address the isolation felt by those suffering with social anxiety and to better equip the healthcare professionals who will need to identify and treat social anxiety with the tools to do so are an important part of empowering families,” said Lori Blumenstein-Bott, MSW, Executive Director of AKFSA. “The Georgia State University Department of Psychology’s work to combine online and in-person resources is poised to make a meaningful difference in the lives of sufferers and the professionals who will help support them.”

Georgia State University is an urban public research university centered in the historic financial hub of downtown Atlanta. The university provides more than 32,000 students with unsurpassed connections to the city’s business, government, nonprofit and cultural organizations. Clinical psychologists were among the founders of the Department of Psychology, and the clinical program has been APA accredited since 1973. The department includes a Psychology Clinic (providing services to the community and training for graduate students), an undergraduate computer lab and faculty office and research space.

Social Anxiety is characterized by extreme anxiety about being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment, shame, humiliation or ridicule. Social situations provoke anxiety or distress resulting in crippling fear that can interfere significantly with daily activities and functioning. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Children and teens may be diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder.

People with Social Anxiety Disorder often report feeling alone, misunderstood and misdiagnosed, causing their personal relationships to suffer. Individuals often try to isolate themselves from their friends and family. They’re uncomfortable talking about their disorder, afraid others will not take them seriously. An estimated 15 million American adults experience these symptoms.

The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety’s mission is to educate social anxiety sufferers, mental health professionals, physicians, teachers, coaches, clergy, friends, family and the general public about the diagnosis and treatment of social anxiety.

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