Learning network: Foundations in co-design for mental health

Learn to apply co-design in mental health settings with Carla Clarence, TACSI’s Future of Mental Health lead, TACSI lived expertise associates, and your peers working in mental health.

Who this online learning network is for

Are you working in or for the mental health sector and interested in strengthening your approach to co-design and co-production? This learning network will give you a conceptual, practical, and pragmatic grounding in how to do effective co-design and co-planning in your organisation. 

You’ll learn to apply co-design in mental health settings with Carla Clarence, TACSI’s Future of Mental Health lead, TACSI lived expertise associates, and your peers working in mental health.

They’ll help you get clear on what it takes to do co-design and co-production well, and give you the tools needed to explore how you can realise co-design in your work, your organisation, and the broader system.

Video preview of TACSI's Learning Network: Foundations in co-design for mental health with network facilitator, Carla Clarence.

What you’ll receive

  • Pre network kickoff co-design article and reflective activity

  • Two three-hour sessions (first and last group sessions), plus six 90-minute online group conversations facilitated by TACSI and partners

  • Opportunities to connect with people working in mental health sectors and systems across Australia

  • Regular real-time co-design learning resources in between online sessions

  • A co-design tool package to take with you on your co-design journey


Seven things you’ll be able to do after taking part

  1. Create brave and safe-enough spaces for co-design activities

  2. Choose the best-fit co-design approach

  3. Use design-thinking methods for identifying opportunities and testing solutions

  4. Facilitate constructive conversations about planning feasible co-design projects

  5. Create stronger organisational and system-wide conditions for co-design

  6. Know your personal strengths and your growth areas when it comes to co-design

  7. Connect with a network of peers when you need support

Learning network details

Intake 2

Dates: 4 May – 22 June

Duration: 8 weeks (online)

Times: Sessions 1 and 8 are 3hrs, held 2:30 – 5:30 pm AEST Thursdays; Sessions 2 to 6 are 1.5 hrs, held 4:00 – 5:30 pm AEST Thursdays.

Price: $1,950 per participant ex GST. Free places available for First Nations people, people with lived experience, and low-income earners. If you are seeking one of these places, email jess.nitschke@tacsi.org.au for more information.

What you’ll learn

Week 1: Powering-Up

An introduction to the learning network and your peers. Acknowledging and exploring power. Setting individual and collective aspirations. 


Week 2: Co-Design and the Bigger Picture

The conceptual foundations of co-design, why and when to use it, and when not to. Connected topics including co-production, lived experience movements, and consultation.

Week 3: Guiding Principles for Co-Production and Co-Design

Exploring the key principles and mindsets that underpin co-production practice in general, and co-design and co-planning activities in particular.


Week 4: Co-Planning in Practice

Exploring the diversity of ways co-production can be put into practice through case studies, with a focus on co-planning.

Week 5: Co-Design in Practice

Case studies, with a focus on co-design.


Week 6: Designing Co-Design Projects

Choosing the best-fit co-design and co-planning approach for a given situation. 

Week 7: Creating the Conditions for Co-Design

Creating the conditions for brave, safe-enough, and effective co-design in organisations and systems.


Week 8: Me, We, Us

A network wide reflection on what we’ve learnt together and what it means for you, your organisation, and the systems you are part of.

Meet your facilitators

Carla Clarence (she/her)

Future of Mental Health lead, TACSI

Carla is passionate about supporting mental health practitioners and transforming how we approach mental health as a society. Over the last five years, she has led over 30 co-design and co-planning projects in mental health settings including with not-for-profits, private health networks and government, as well as philanthropically-funded work.

With a practice-based background of case work, coaching, and working with people experiencing extremely complex life challenges, she understands the realities of making ‘co’ work across the service-system. 

Additional TACSI partners and guests will come in during particular sessions to strengthen the learning and success of the network experience

"I cannot recommend TACSI’s Co-Design Learning Network highly enough. Brilliantly presented and worked through, I have gained valuable information and tools to seriously bring about true teamwork and co-design to my workplace”


“I'm definitely going to be more aware of power imbalances, and of the unique kinds of power people hold”

“The co-facilitation was fantastic, enabling many additional aspects or ideas to be gently presented”


"The course supported me to understand the co-design process and to apply it in practice"


Can I get a tax invoice?

When you purchase via our secure online platform a tax invoice will be sent to your email address.

What if I can’t make all the sessions? 

You will still have access to all the materials from that session. We do not record network sessions, but we will endeavour to catch you up in the next session.

What is the learning network model and how is that different from a course?

TACSI’s learning networks draw on the strength and experience of everyone in the room. Rather than one-way teaching, learning networks will offer you space to apply theoretical content to your practice, learn from your peers, and feed that back into shaping the learning journey. Our networks also centre and amplify the lived expertise of folks who have first-hand experience in the topics we cover.

How long will I have access?

You will have lifelong access to the course materials.

Will I get a certificate?

Yes, you will be presented with a certificate on completing the course.

I don’t work in mental health – can I still be a part of this?

We welcome applicants from sectors that adjoin or connect with mental health. Past participants have included folks working across allied health, government, and social enterprise. Anyone working in services related to mental health will gain from better understanding approaches to co-design.


Are there any scholarships or subsidies? 

Yes, we reserve two free places per network cohort for First Nations applicants, folks with lived expertise, and low-income earners. Contact Jess, Learning Coordinator, (jess.nitschke@tacsi.org.au), to request your place.

Who can I talk to about any other questions?

You can speak with Jess, our Learning Coordinator, via email (jess.nitschke@tacsi.org.au) or the contact form below.

What if I realise I can’t attend the network after purchasing it?

Networks and courses are non-refundable. If you are not able to make a network, and let us know more than 14 days before the start date, we will issue you a credit note (valid for 12 months) for use in a later network or course. At any point before the start date of the network you can  transfer your place to a colleague at no additional cost. Contact Jess, Learning Coordinator, (jess.nitschke@tacsi.org.au) if you have any questions.

Can I register a group?

Absolutely. Creating the conditions for co-design or co-production is a collective endeavour. Enrolling as an organisation (or group of organisations) will help you build a shared understanding and shared language, while giving you the opportunity to work through challenges specific to your context. 

Contact Jess, our Learning Coordinator, (jess.nitschke@tacsi.org.au), to talk about your options.

Why learn with TACSI?

Grounded in experience

Bring together your knowledge with TACSI’s internationally recognised experience working in policy, strategy, commissioning, services, and practice across Australia.


In Allyship & solidarity

First Nations and lived expertise knowledge is woven into every learning experience through co-facilitation, case studies, practitioners, thinkers, and writers.

Relevant to your context

We know that no one is working in perfect conditions for social innovation, so we help you find actionable strategies that will work now, while setting things up for the long-term.



Connect with and learn from peers facing similar challenges and talk with TACSI facilitators and Lived expertise associates about their hands-on experiences.

Growth & change

We help you navigate any personal growth and internal shifts you face as you learn brave new ways of working.


Enrol to secure your spot

Any questions? Get in touch with TACSI’s Learning Coordinator Jess via email (jess.nitschke@tacsi.org.au) or via the form below.

Intake 1: Feb 9 – March 30

Sessions 1 and 8 are 3hrs, held 2:30 – 5:30 pm AEST Thursdays; Sessions 2 to 6 are 1.5 hrs, held 4:00 – 5:30 pm AEST Thursdays.

Registration has closed


Intake 2: 4 May – 22 June

Sessions 1 and 8 are 3hrs, held 2:30 – 5:30 pm AEST Thursdays; Sessions 2 to 6 are 1.5 hrs, held 4:00 – 5:30 pm AEST Thursdays.

Any questions? Make an enquiry

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