Headspace Demand Management Strategy: Including lived experience voices to optimise digital solutions in youth mental health


  • Antonia Ottavio Headspace Bondi Junction
  • Paul Rich Headspace Bondi Junction



At Headspace Bondi Junction a surge in referrals followed COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, causing longer wait times for young people accessing mental health support. In response, a clinical redesign project was initiated.

Key solutions were the implementation of the health technology platform ‘Innowell’ to guide intake and assessment, and a peer worker acting as a digital navigator in young people’s mental health care journeys.


· Decrease wait times:

o Intake triage within 2 days compared to 8 days

o Assessment within 2 weeks compared to 8 weeks

o Psychological treatment within 1 month compared to 3 months


· Reduce young people reporting ‘waiting too long’ for psychological treatment from 82% to 30%


· Increase scores on an experience of service survey in domains of participation in care and the impact of care:

o Participation: improve to 95% from 91%

o Impact: improve to 70% from 65%


The project adopted a 5-stage implementation methodology with each stage co-designed with young people. Evaluation is mixed-methods, incorporating qualitative interviews with staff, young people and carers.


Preliminary results demonstrate positive trends:

· Wait times:

o Intake within 4 days

o Assessment within 2.14 weeks

o Psychological treatment within 1.13 months


· 30% of young people reporting ‘waiting too long’


· Experience of service:

o Participation: 89%

o Impact: 68%


Including lived experience voices in digital youth mental health interventions is vital and impactful. However, refinement is needed to optimise integration of a peer workforce.