Release of Co-Design report


The Co-Design Initiative is a voluntary project led by consumers and carers and auspiced by Civil Society Australia. It is a response to planned review and reforms for the mental health system, led by the creation of Primary Health Networks.

Our goal… is to ensure that consumers and carers are at the centre in mental health system design, development and delivery.

The Co-design Initiative organised two co-design events, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Referred to as ‘conferences’ and as ‘symposia’ these were actually interactive workshops that enabled a large number of people to share their knowledge, experience and ideas about co-design.

The core question considered at these events was: how can we make sure that consumers and carers are integral to and leading the reform of the mental health system in each PHN?

Two interactive workshops explored the questions:

Workshop 1: Common Ground – what are the essential elements of authentic codesign?

Workshop 2: Co-creation – what could a consumer and carer ‘hub’ look like in the context of a PHN? More than two hundred people participated in the events.

The written and verbal feedback from the events has formed the basis of the Co-design: Shared perspectives on authentic co-design report.

Codesign shared perspectives report

Published by Douglas Holmes

The contribution of Douglas Holmes to mental health services in Australia started in 1992 when he was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder. The TheMHS conference in Brisbane in 1996 inspired him to change mental health services so that other consumers could have a better recovery journey than he and his family. He became a member of the NSW Consumer Advisory Group Mental Health inc. (NSW CAG) from 1997 to 2000, and a founding member of the Australian Mental Health Consumer Network from 1997. He became the NSW CAG’s Executive Officer from 2000 till 2006. His goal was to embed consumer participation at the core of mental health services in NSW. Douglas was awarded the TheMHS Exceptional Achievement in 2014 the award states ‘The awards represents an acknowledgement of an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.’ On Douglas Certificate TheMHS included the following words: ‘This award is for recognition of ‘unswerving dedication to the betterment of services to support consumer wellbeing; for extraordinary determination to ask questions and seek out answers; for outstanding expertise, freely given, with a “can do” attitude whether it be for national policy or a local art group.’ Since 2006 Douglas has worked at St Vincent’s Hospital as the Mental Health Consumer Participation Officer to put the policies he has worked on into action. In November 2016 Douglas retired from the O’Brien Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital after over 10 year service. He now heads up MH=worx.

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