Co-designing with young people: The fundamentals

In the field of youth mental health, we recognise that young people are experts in their own lives and we should take action to maximise their participation in the decisions that affect them, whether that be in their direct care, service design, quality improvement or evaluation.

Worldwide, there is an ever-increasing expectation that youth mental health care be co-designed with young people. Whilst many organisations see the value of partnering with young people, there is much confusion about what co-design is and the term is often mistakenly used to describe any type of youth participation.

Developed with members of Orygen’s Youth Advisory Council and Primary Health Network Advisory Group, this guide will be useful to anyone involved in designing, commissioning or delivering mental healthcare for young people. It covers:

  • What is co-design and how does it differ from other forms of participation?
  • What are the opportunities to co-design?
  • What do young people say about being involved in co-design?
  • How can young people be supported to be active participants?
  • Where can useful resources be accessed?