Youth Involvement in Mental Health Services

Youth at the Centre: The design and delivery of mental health services with and for young people

In this webinar, Dr. Kerrie Buhagiar and Jessica English from ReachOut Australia and Andrea Vukobrat from Foundry BC discuss youth involvement in the design, delivery and evaluation of mental health services.

Since its inception, Reachout Australia has been driven and supported by young people from the co-design of services, to the establishment of an online peer support community, to iterative development cycles aimed at improving engagement, relevancy and effectiveness of service. Similarly, Foundry BC, a province-wide network of integrated health and social service centres, began with youth and their families co-developing everything from the creation of their name and identity, to the look and feel of their centres, to the design of their online space and in-person services. Both approaches demonstrate how youth involvement at the center of mental health services can provide the right supports at the right time, meet the changing needs of young people and empower them to lead mentally healthy lives.

Download a pdf copy of the Powerpoint slides. 



Dr. Kerrie Buhagiar, Director of Service Delivery

Reachout Australia



Dr Kerrie Buhagiar has been Director of Service Delivery at ReachOut Australia since January 2012. She is accountable for the delivery of ReachOut’s innovative digital mental health programs for young people, parents and schools. Prior to that, she worked in NHS Scotland leading a Mental Health Collaborative Program to improve mental health systems and processes, from community mental health to inpatient care. Kerrie has over 15 years’ experience in health system reform and modernising services to meet the changing needs of the community. She is an advocate for the meaningful involvement of service users in the design and delivery of health care programs and systems.

Jessica English, Online Community Co-ordinator

ReachOut Australia


Jessica English has been a passionate Lived Experience advocate in the Perinatal, Child and Youth Mental Health and Peer Support Workforce spaces in Australia for the last 8 years. She has a background in youth peer support working in public health inpatient settings, in peer education with recovery colleges, in consumer representation at a national level, and in policy, project and systemic advocacy roles with mental health peaks across Australia. She has worked for ReachOut Australia as an Online Community Co-ordinator since June 2018 and is responsible for facilitating peer support between members on our online community forums.

Andrea Vukobrat, Youth Peer Engagement Coordinator

Foundry BC


Andrea has been volunteering and working in youth mental health for six years. She had the opportunity to discover the value of her lived experience with mental health and substance use challenges working as a peer support worker at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre. Within her work at Foundry she has had the privilege of working to develop a peer support curriculum and has seen first-hand the impact that peer support can have not only on those accessing services but also for those delivering them.



Youth Involvement in Mental Health Services
Youth Involvement in Mental Health Services
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