Suicide prevention grants awarded to 10 local governments in the Goldfields and Midwest

Local governments in the Goldfields and Midwest have been successful in obtaining grants to deliver community wellbeing initiatives that educate at-risk communities about suicide prevention in a culturally safe and appropriate way.

The WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) grants form part of a National Suicide Prevention Trial to support suicide prevention initiatives in some of the state’s most at-risk communities.

In 2021, new Australian Government funding guidance was received to continue some of the trial’s initiatives, which also enabled funds to be expanded beyond the three original trial sites (Peel-Rockingham-Kwinana, the Midwest and the Kimberley) into the Goldfields, Pilbara and Wheatbelt regions.

WAPHA General Manager Commissioned Services, Mark Cockayne, said the much-needed funding for these communities, including Shire of Menzies which is one of the most remote communities in Australia, has supported internal upskilling within local government to build a stronger mental health and suicide prevention response.

“Our team is engaging with the Mental Health Commission regularly through working groups to ensure these community initiatives are delivered collaboratively. Some of the priorities include community and health professional education, and supporting Community Wellbeing Plans.”

Mental Health First Aid, Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid training and adopting suicide intervention models through the ASIST caregiver training are just some of the initiatives being rolled out.

WAPHA’s work with mental health partners to achieve our Mental Health Priorities is guided by the WA Foundational Plan for Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and Suicide Prevention, a collaborative deliverable under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The Goldfields and Midwest region local governments that accepted Suicide Prevention Funding grants within the 2021-2022 period include:


  • Shire of Wiluna
  • Shire of Leonora
  • City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
  • Shire of Coolgardie
  • Shire of Dundas
  • Shire of Esperance
  • Shire of Laverton
  • Shire of Menzies


  • City of Greater Geraldton
  • Shire of Meekatharra

Just some of the community impacts of the grants include:

Shire of Menzies: funding will support the remote Tjuntjuntjara community to create films and art to develop coping strategies associated with depression and providing purposeful activity. Tjuntjuntjara is one of the most remote communities in Australia.

Shire of Esperance: funding has led to talks, workshops and events delivered by local and external organisations- leveraging the opportunity to engage for greater understanding of the needs of their communities.

Shire of Meekatharra: has utilised a co-design approach with the Meekatharra Aboriginal Reference Group to design and deliver initiatives based on community need.

City of Greater Geraldton: are working with the Midwest Coordinators to contribute to community wellbeing plans for both Geraldton and Mullewa. As well as partnering with grassroot organisations to enhance programs and initiatives.

Approximately half of WAPHA program expenditure is directed into the delivery of primary mental health services for the WA community. To learn more about the mental health services WAPHA has commissioned, visit Our Services.

About the National Suicide Prevention Trial

The National Suicide Prevention Trial took place in 12 Australian regions from 2016 to 2021 to develop and implement a systems-based approach to suicide prevention at a local level for at-risk populations. As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Australian Government is providing funding for former trial sites to continue the delivery of local suicide prevention initiatives across Australia until 30 June 2022.