Inclusive Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, Co-Design, Evaluation, and Capacity Building

The Organisations: headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12–25-year-olds. Each year, headspace helps thousands of young people access vital support in 150 communities across Australia via online and phone counselling services, vocational services, and presence in schools. Participation of young people and their families is central to the work of headspace. Participation helps to ensure that headspace stays relevant, delivers appropriate services, remains a trusted and respected provider, and continually improves the quality of services for young people and their families.

Why lived experience matters: The era of delivering top-down solutions, regardless of how well intentioned, is now over. People with lived experience have the right to be recognised, respected, and included in decision making, and their involvement is essential to radically reform the systems we operate within. Creating psychologically safe spaces, empowering participation, and giving authority to participants to make decisions and choices enables all voices to be heard, respected, and valued.

How we help: Since 2020, we have supported headspace in refreshing organisational values, developing and implementing an organisation-wide stakeholder engagement approach, co-creating communities of practice, reviewing and refining the organisational approach to participation, and co-designing functional plans for specified workstreams within the organisation. Our work has involved consultations, workshops, surveys, and focus groups with over 250 staff from 150 metro, regional, and remote centres, projects have included:

  • Values-focused work to identify behaviours and actions to live organisational values in everyday work
  • Reviewing and improving stakeholder engagement strategy
  • Creating Communities of Practice in a range of content and practice domains
  • Developing a 3-year blueprint for headspace vocational programs targeting people aged 15-24 
  • Evaluating how youth and family participation is practiced

In recognition of our work in delivering high quality online experiences, our team have also provided training to more than 200 staff members at headspace in how to create engaging and meaningful online environments using Zoom, MS Teams, Miro, Mentimeter, Survey Monkey, and Qualtrics.

“We have had the pleasure of working with Day Four Projects on several projects to help build on and improve our stakeholder engagement with the headspace centre network. We co-designed a program of capacity-building for online engagement and Communities of Practice for stakeholder engagement practitioners, as well as worked on a project to measure the quality of meaningful engagement we have with the centre network. This work will play a pivotal role in continuing to create sustainable avenues for collaboration and connection – both across headspace National and across the centre network”
Dr Tara Bates — Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Manager, headspace