Helping young people find the mental health support that's right for them

‘My headspace’ empowers young people, and those that care for them, to seek mental health support with confidence. By personalising and detailing their options ‘My headspace’ helps headspace users discover the best starting point for them.

headspace is the national youth mental health foundation, providing early intervention mental health services to 12 to 25 year-olds.

We first began working with headspace to unify their digital presence.  Since then we have been working with headspace on a number of functional enhancements and extensions to their new website. 

headspace identified that the ‘My Account’ page on the current website provides an opportunity to provide users with a more engaged and interactive online experience.

With the launch of many new services in recent years such as personal spaces and interactive content, functional enhancements that we also worked on, Portable was engaged to design My headspace — an account that presents an array of options available to young people through headspace, and a compass for them to navigate their help seeking journey.  

Many young people are familiar with headspace's centres and eheadspace chat services, but what about the myriad of new, innovative services that have developed more recently? 

My headspace offers users recommended service options based on their preferences to assist them with starting their help-seeking journey in the best possible place and obtaining the best possible outcomes for their mental health. 

Project context

Our research with young people as part of our initial work on researching user needs from the new headspace website has shown us that they like to engage in different ways. A young person seeking help might only be wanting to engage with headspace passively through articles and self-served information. Other young people seeking help might want help with specific topics. Some might want to talk to a professional, and others might want to chat with their peers.

What we know is that headspace has lots of different ways to engage with their resources and services, but young people need help knowing what is available, and where to start.


Subject matter expert workshops

We approached the project by working closely with headspace clinicians to help us understand and define the needs and goals through a series of workshops. These workshops helped us to define goals, priorities and user needs. 

With the clinicians we: 

  • Reviewed identified feature enhancements in the context of headspace’s strategic goals. 
  • Clarified the care options that ‘My headspace’ would offer users.
  • Reviewed user needs and matched these to features and user stories for the new platform.
  • Defined features of the platform and prioritised features that best met the identified user and organisational needs.

Prototypes and user testing with young people

After gaining an understanding of headspace's goals, we designed mobile prototypes that we presented to young people to seek their feedback on. We also presented the prototypes to the headspace team in a collaborative feedback session. 

From the user testing and collaborative feedback session, we learned that:

  • For a lot of users, the issue or topics that they're currently dealing with will be the primary driver for seeking support and will be front-of-mind in looking for what’s right.
  • Description of support options (both written and visual) are crucial to building users' understanding of the full support landscape.
  • It's important for users that they feel a tangible connection between what they put in and what they get in return.
  • It's useful for users to see how each of the support options fits into the landscape relative to their own preferences.


After refining our final designs following receiving feedback from users and the headspace team, our technical team developed and built My headspace with the ability for headspace to add new featured services or content through the Content Management System. 

My headspace was designed and built with scale in mind. As new services or offerings are launched they can easily be added through the CMS and tagged by topic.


My headspace meets identified user needs through its features which we integrated into the design and build of the website enhancement:

  • Personalised content and support suggestions based on users' preferences and the issues affecting them.
  • Promotion of live chats, such as Group or Community chats taking place.
  • Simple preview modules that enable young people to get a sneak peak at the service, before deciding to take the next step.

The day My headspace launched, we saw an immediate, positive change in the way young people were accessing headspace’s online services by looking at the data provided by site analytics. This represents a shift in the way that young people are accessing headspace’s wide range of online services, and being provided with easier navigation pathways and personalised content to ensure that the services they are accessing are meeting their specific and individual mental health support needs. 

By giving young people the map and the compass, we believe they can access the support they seek in the means that suit them best.

Related content

Sign up to our email newsletter to get updates about our events, work and research

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.