Design Charrette Program Overview

The S.M.A.S.H COVID project is a community-based participatory research project that seeks to better understand the characteristics of gender and sexually diverse youth who are facing barriers to accessing mental health and substance use care services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will address the barriers that exist for gender and sexually diverse youth and young adults (16-29) seeking affirming mental health and substance use care services by:

  • Recognizing current and ongoing service gaps;
  • Taking a proactive approach to care;
  • Pivoting away from a largely reactive system structure; and
  • Being entirely informed by community.

This will take the form of a series of design charrettes – intensely focused, multi-day sessions that use a collaborative approach to create realistic and achievable designs that work. The program will be used to inform policy and practice recommendations for the adaptation and development of services, programs, resources and tools, offered by CAMH through Rainbow Services. Additional collaboration with other providers, and community organizations will ensure broader knowledge mobilization and implementation. This program aims to provide an individual journey-first lens and will directly support queer and trans youth and young adults navigating their wellness during and after this pandemic.  

Program Session Dates:

Session 1: Group A Saturday June 12th from 10am-2pm


Group B: Sunday June 13th from 10am-2pm

Session 2: All Participants Saturday June 19th from

Session 3: All Participants Sunday June 20th from 10am-3pm

Program Eligibility Criteria

o Ages 16-29 years old
o Identify as gender and or sexually diverse
o Living within Ontario and comfortable communicating in English (folx from other provinces and territories are welcome to participate
o Experience with navigating personal or supportive mental health and or substance care


Participants will receive a $100 e-gift card per completed session with a total of $300 for the three sessions. Physical gift cards can be made available if preferred by request and would be mailed at the end of the final session.

Participants will receive a $40 UberEats e-gift certificate to purchase lunch for sessions 2 and 3 communal 1 hour lunch period. Alternate options are available if that platform is not accessible.

Charrette Session 1: Co-creating Knowledge

  • Creating personas of individuals and service users
  • Persona journey mapping
  • Discussion and reflection

Charrette Session 2: Ideating and Prototyping

  • Persona Priority Matrix – Short & Long Term Needs
  • Brainstorm Mapping – Short Term Design Concepts
  • Low-fidelity prototyping (Translate high-level concepts into tangible achievable designs)

Charette Session 3: Refining and Presenting

  • Concept Blueprint (Relationships between people and services)
  • High-fidelity prototyping (design visual) & short-term micro interventions
  • Storyboarding
  • Presentations


Part of the program is to learn and co-design with folx from diverse lived experiences, social demographics and levels of access within society. To help facilite this intent, we are asking interested indivduals to complete a short questionnaire that can be completed within 5 minutes. Our project also aims to remove barriers to accessing this program and include specific questions on individuals needs and access to technology. Through our planning committee, we will invite selected individuals to participate in the program and complete an informed consent discussion with one of our team members to discuss what’s involved, potential risks and benefits of participating, and answer any questions.

Our participant recruiting process has now ended. We will be selecting participants shortly. If you have any questions, please email us at:

Click on page 2 below to learn more about the design concepts behind this program and our facilitators.