Orygen Mental Health Access



Access to quality mental health remains a major challenge and need for many young Australians. In Melbourne’s North West, Orygen are committed to building a system that ensures timely and effective access for young people to get the mental health support they need, when they need it.

What we did

YLab and Orygen brought together an Associate team of 15 diverse young people with lived experience of mental ill health for a 12 month co-design project. The purpose of this project was to design solutions to barriers to young people’s access to mental health services in the North West of Melbourne. YLab delivered a 2-day training bootcamp in co-design and valuing lived experience for Orygen Associates. Orygen Associates completed co-design for the project during a weekly co-working time, which covered three phases "admiring the problem", "ideation" and "prototyping". 3 Senior Associates were trained and supported to provide coaching to the remaining Orygen Associates during co-working time and over 100 young people were engaged in a range of activities including workshops, interviews, surveys and pop up events.


2,032 hours of paid employment for 15 Orygen Associates

Three prototypes were developed across three streams which represent primary challenges to accessing services: Passport to me (to combat lack of agency), Community Friendship Bench (to combat lack of diversity), and Innovation in Peer Support Practices (to increase investment in peer support)

An insights report which documented the insights and recommendations

2 YLab associates were offered positions at Orygen

Orygen has engaged YLab for a second project which was led by 2 Orygen Associates.

Two young people in a workshop are engaged in conversation. In the background is a sheet of paper with the text 'neurodiverse communication barriers' with sticky notes underneath.
A group of young people are engaged in a workshop and conversing with each other in a room with blue and green curtains.

The team

We brought together a team of Associates and a Director, who came together to design with a background of diverse lived experience and expertise.

with Emily Boubis, Sherry-Rose Bih Watts, Gbonmi Olubodun and Stacey Longo.