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.

The Speech That Started It All

For today’s post I thought I’d share the speech I gave at the launch of LIFEHACK. (Sadly I wasn’t able to get it recorded, but I think this does the trick…) If you told me that I’d be sharing the stage with government officials 6 months ago, I would have laughed at you… but here I…

Hi folks, I’m back, this time with a little Pep Talk, courtesy of Kid President… Right, so, in the wise words of Kid President – “Create something that will make the world awesome”. Want to be that person? The one that makes the world awesome? Yup, me too. That’s why I got involved in LIFEHACK,…

It Hasn’t Been Easy

I’m not going to lie to you – the last seven days have been emotionally draining! Feeling the pressure to keep LIFEHACK progressing is hard when you’re tank’s running empty. From receiving the resignation letter from our Auckland Regional Coordinator to back-to-back of unproductive meetings – it’s safe to say last week was a shit week…

Dunedin – last but not least!

Dunedin has one of the highest populations of students and of young people in the country – and it makes sense! Home to the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and a myriad of high schools Dunedin can be a great place to grow up and gain a world class education. With almost 40% of the…

Young people leading the way in Christchurch

Here at LIFEHACK Christchurch we truly believe that young people are the best people to find the solutions for the challenges young people face. So, I’ve got my right hand lady Olivia Taylor (16), our student event coordinator helping out with everything we do. This week she presented about LIFEHACK to an audience of about 300…

Hustlin’ in Wellington

Exciting times! Wellington registrations are starting to roll in, but we’d love to see more of them – so please do feel free to share the word about Lifehack and mention it to your friends! Off the back of the launch up in Auckland, I’ve been carrying the energy down to Wellington and am already…

Hacking From the Inside Out

The last few months have been crazy! LIFEHACK has taken shape faster than any project I’ve ever been involved in. The roadmap of my life over the last few months has looked something like this: funding-idea-branding-signoff-planning-hire-do-do-do-hire-do-do-do-hire-hire-launch-do-even more…. all in just over three months! And we’re really just at the beginning…  Moving at this speed can…

And so it all begins. LIFEHACK launched last night!! Official media release is here for your reading.   Date: 28 February 2013   LIFEHACK CALLS FOR HIPSTERS, HACKERS & HUSTLERS TO HELP COMBAT YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES LIFEHACK, a new initiative aimed at tackling youth mental health issues head-on is calling for skilled and creative…

Calling all Hipsters, Hackers & Hustlers!

We’re counting down now until our official project launch. Only a couple to go! We’ll share the details of what we’re up to here soon… watch this space! For now though, all you need to know is that we’re calling hipsters, hackers & hustlers to get involved.

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.