Mental health support locally grown

Despite the challenges this year due to COVID-19, more than 60 regional Western Australians have worked hard towards completing a Grow Local Certificate IV in Mental Health, meaning their communities will have additional mental health support for those who may be struggling.

Grow Local is a free community training initiative developed by WA Primary Health Alliance in response to difficulties in recruiting and retaining culturally appropriate mental health workers in regional areas.

Participants include support, youth and healthcare workers from Bunbury, Busselton, Albany, Northam, Karratha, Kalgoorlie and Carnarvon, all of whom have been equipped them with the skills to provide much needed culturally sensitive mental health support to those who may be struggling.

Grow Local graduates
Grow Local Goldfields graduates

WA Primary Health Alliance Regional Manager Goldfields, Sarah Brown, said in what has been a challenging year, our Grow Local participants have shown commitment and perseverance over the past 18 months to obtain their Certificate IV in Mental Health.

“This dedicated group are now equipped with knowledge and skills that will strengthen the local mental health workforce and help develop capacity within our local communities, who often struggle to get timely and appropriate support for mental health issues.”

The program has been an effective and popular way of meeting these community needs, with more than 60 participants graduating in towns throughout the state.

The training is provided in partnership with the Australian Medical Association, along with support from local organisations.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said empowering local communities with the knowledge and skills to support those who are struggling will strengthen the local health workforce and complement the support provided by local GPs and healthcare professionals.

“This is a fantastic initiative that helps shift the perception of mental health issues – that it’s okay to seek help and your community is there to support you,” Mr Wilson said.

Australian Medical Association (WA) Mental Health Trainer and Assessor, Tracie Booth said she is so incredibly proud of the Grow Local participants and all that they have achieved.

“Their determination to complete their Certificate IV in Mental Health is remarkable and has developed in them a resilience and strength which will serve them very well in helping those most vulnerable in the local community,” Ms Booth said.

Find out more about our focus in Mental Health.

This activity is supported through funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program.