New tech tool for Aussie kids & families

by Laura Douglas


Launched this week in Australia is, a new digital tool addressing the issue of anxiety amongst children. It provides an online system, inspired by therapeutic techniques, for families to manage, track and reduce fears and phobias for primary school aged kids.

A behavioural change tool, Fishwah aims to help kids build confidence to achieve real goals but in the online world. Issues can range from academic to special needs, fear of the dark, separation anxiety or lack of social confidence.

Fishwah was founded by concerned Sydney parents, Stephen and Natalie Byrne, who said they are hoping to make a difference by offering an online technology for families who might be struggling with the same things their kids were.

Natalie and Stephen Byrne“Four years ago we learned that our son was suffering from anxiety issues, and we found there were no easy-to-access, hands-on, achievable programs for families to combat it,” said Co-founder Stephen Byrne.

“While traditional therapy can help, it is often difficult for families to juggle sessions with their busy daily schedules. While developing our own family’s response, Natalie and I began to design a digital tool to track and reward our child’s progress. We found that we’d built the groundwork for something that could help any parent in the same position as we were in – and the idea for Fishwah was born.”

Co-founder Natalie Byrne commented that they were trying to make therapy more accessible by putting into a digital framework. “Fishwah is breaking down access barriers with a new digital approach to traditional therapeutic techniques,” she said. “Essentially we’ve taken the principles of the successfully proven exposure therapy, which is all about breaking down fears into graded steps, but we are making it digital.”

Parents can access the tool through the web and start a free trial with their children. Activities on the site range from an online journal to a goal and reward tracking system and tips for parents.

To register for Fishwah or for more information visit

Diagnosable anxiety disorders are found in around one in ten children.

by Laura Douglas

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