Lifehack was a systems-level intervention in youth mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. Over 2013-2017 we grew the capacity of the system to support the wellbeing of young people, with an emphasis on co-design, prevention and capability building.

Use our runsheets, methods and other resources to improve your work alongside young people.

If you need inspiration or ideas for your own youth wellbeing programmes, our blog is the place for you.

Interested in our approach? Our initiatives page shows the range of programmes we ran from 2013 to 2017.

Our Impact

Lifehack put young people at the centre of service innovation. Between 2013 and 2017, we evolved our ways of working in response to evaluation and reflection on a wide range of activities.

We moved from an ‘app’ focus to working with people across the system who supported youth mental health and wellbeing. Working with people from diverse backgrounds and points of influence in the service system modeled our desire to move the system toward helping young people to flourish.

Our Final Report weaves the threads together

If you're strapped for time, head straight to the section for you:

  • Want to support youth-led lab, start up, social enterprise and innovation approaches to youth wellbeing? Section 4 is for you.
  • Working on the front-lines to influence youth wellbeing or responsible for workforce development? Check out Section 5.
  • Making policy about youth wellbeing, suicide prevention, education and youth development? You'll enjoy Section 6.
Lifehack final report title page

Our Latest Articles

Visit the full lifehack blog page to see all our articles.

Lifehack’s Four Year Journey: Wrapping Up In October 2017

“Is Lifehack an institution or an intervention?” – Gina Rembe   As we draw to the close of Lifehack’s mahi, we would like to send a massive thank you and mihi to everybody who’s contributed to our kaupapa in the last four years. Our active programmes are ending and the team is moving on at…

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Impactful Co-design Training: An Impact Story from Palmerston North

Are impactful co-design training events possible? Does a short one-off co-design training event justify investment? Those questions wereat the back of Paul and Gina’s mind when they hosted the Palmy North Codesign Summit – a two day co-design training to support the local youth sector to take a collaborative, cross-sectoral approach to their work. The initial…

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Oro Hackathon -The journey, outcomes and reflections

Written by former Lifehack teamie Dayna Carter The Oro Hackathon was delivered over the weekend of 28-30 July, 2017 and was a success for all sorts of reasons. Firstly, each of the three powerful Upper Hutt based projects walked away with lots of outputs developed in collaboration with 60 + people involved into weekend, to…

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Guest post: Eleanor Hurton @ the Codesign for Youth Wellbeing Symposium

This is a guest post from Eleanor Hurton who attended the Co-design for Youth Wellbeing Symposium in September. It’s also a shout-out to the Shuttleworth Foundation, which supported the Symposium with a one-off, no-strings-attached grant. When we received an email earlier this year offering us a no-strings attached grant, we assumed it must be a…

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Programme Design for Impact: Features from the Flourishing Fellowship

Designing a programme for impact is an ever-evolving art. This post shares some of the key programme design features from our flagship programme, the Flourishing Fellowship. In 2017 we hosted our third iteration of the Flourishing Fellowship. Some aspects of the programme have remained constant, such as the venues, and having three hui spread over…

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A Sneak Peak at the 2017 Fellowship Impact Report

We’re busy compiling the 2017 Fellowship Impact Report. As silly as it might sound, we’re bursting at the seams to share some of the high level results and learnings. We’d like to give a big mihi to Angelique Praat from the Ripple Collective for their evaluation genius and evaluative leadership. Angelique has drafted the Impact Report,…

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How To Use User Personas (And Our Personas From The Fellowship)

User personas are a powerful tool to help clarify who you’re trying to serve and how you can best help them. As a tool from the start-up, marketing and design worlds, we wanted to show you how we’ve used them in our own work, and how you might use them in yours! But first, what…

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Guest blog post: George Gribbin @ the Collaborative Trust Hui 2017

  I had the privilege of attending the Collaborative Hui on the 27th and 28th of April on behalf of the Lifehack Community. It was a fantastic couple of days with hope, optimism and challenge embedded throughout. The Hui was set in the lovely grounds of St Andrews College and the weather was on point.…

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At the intersection of education, design and wellbeing: The OJC Wellbeing Collaboration

Over the past six months Lifehack has been working alongside progressive and newly established Ormiston Junior College, mental health advocacy organisation Changing Minds and Auckland Libraries to co-host action-oriented learning with young people aged eleven to fifteen (Years 7-10). This blog post shares the highlights of this youth-centred, cross-disciplinary, cross-sector project. Background In 2015 during…

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In Lifehack's four years, we've learned a lot about how to apply tools and processes from codesign, facilitation, technology, te ao Māori, social enterprise and wellbeing science to a youth wellbeing context.

We've released our supply of resources for you to use in your mahi alongside young people. So please - check them out, print them off and find out for yourself whether they can recharge your work with young people!

Community Hackathon Manual

Host Your Own Community Hackathon

Community Hackathons are a magical way to bring together a diverse community to work on promising projects. We've found them so useful that we created a step-by-step guide to promoting, organising and hosting your own community hackathon!

Wellbeing Design Challenge

A wellbeing design challenge based around milk – it sounds strange, right! But this is one of our favourite sessions that we’ve run time and time again. If you want to introduce people to design thinking, this is a great place to start.

Relationship Building Sort Cards

Relationship-building is one of the foundations of effective facilitation. If you're not sure how to get people beyond the superficial “what do you do for work?" question, this Relationship Building Sort Card package could be what you need.

Creating Group Kawa (Culture): Ko Wai Au Worksheet

Think back to the last time you joined a new group of people. Perhaps you started a new job, turned up to a meetup group, or attended a training workshop. Did you have the opportunity to contribute to the culture and norms (the kawa) of the group from the outset...?

We recommend getting support as early as possible if you, or someone you know, are having a hard time with wellbeing or mental distress. Mental distress affects one in five New Zealanders each year and around half of us will experience distress at some time in our lives.