Connect Health

Improving youth wellbeing through a school-based mental health promotion program

Paper Giant co-designed a user-friendly toolkit with Connect Health & Community so they could scale their unique youth mental health initiative, Brain Bloom.

Improving youth wellbeing through a school-based mental health promotion program
  • A ready-to-implement toolkit so Connect Health & Community can scale their health initiative quickly

  • Empowering more people to deliver a great mental-health program independently through a user-friendly resource

  • An adaptable evaluation framework that supports users to measure the impact of the program in their settings

  • Engaging design to complement existing Brain Bloom assets

Creating a pilot program

The Health Promotion team at Connect Health & Community created a school-based mental health initiative to improve youth wellbeing in its south-east Melbourne catchment area. The program, called Brain Bloom, was designed in collaboration with the area’s secondary school students.

The aim of Brain Bloom is to empower young people to improve their mental-health literacy by collaborating on mental-health promotion projects that target the specific issues and challenges experienced by students.

Schools and students engaged enthusiastically with the program and Connect Health & Community received positive feedback. This inspired their goal of making Brain Bloom available to more communities. Together, we decided to create a Brain Bloom ‘toolkit’—a step-by-step guide to enable people in school settings to run the program independently.

The Paper Giant team was brilliant to work with and truly made our vision come to life. We had not worked with an external agency before, so it was helpful in that they kept us on track and focussed on the task ahead, whilst providing a welcoming and supporting environment for consultation and feedback throughout the entire process.

Acting Team Leader Health Promotion

Knowledge immersion

To design the most effective toolkit, the Paper Giant team first had to learn as much as possible about the pilot program and Connect Health & Community’s intentions for scaling Brain Bloom.

We conducted a desktop review of existing program material before designing and facilitating several workshops with stakeholders and key people from Connect Health & Community’s Health Promotion team who were involved in the pilot.

During these workshops, we clarified what we’d learned from our desktop review and elicited tacit program know-how that was critical to designing a practical and adaptable toolkit.

We discussed the challenges that had emerged during implementation of the pilot and ways that the new toolkit might address or mitigate those challenges. We looked at questions of promotion and distribution, who were we trying to reach with the toolkit and how we would reach them. We also discussed the evaluation needs of people working within school settings and how we could understand the toolkit’s success.

We conducted a series of online workshops to refine the toolkit

Toolkit prototyping and testing

After capturing and validating requirements with the Connect Health & Community team, we developed a prototype of the toolkit to test through one-on-one interviews with prospective toolkit users to gather their perspectives and feedback. We modified and fine-tuned our prototype based on what we learned.

A selection of pages from the final toolkit


A user-friendly guide with templates and evaluation tools

The final Brain Bloom toolkit steps users through the aims of the program, its implementation phases, and how to adapt the program to respond to the specific needs of their settings and young people in their communities. It equips users to design and conduct program evaluation that is practical, meaningful and actionable because we designed it around a series of succinct modules which cover end-to-end program implementation. The kit also includes letter templates to inform parents and caregivers about the program, and student and staff surveys among the suite of evaluation tools.

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