Pilbara Capacity Building

Pilbara Capacity Building Program

In 2014 and in partnership with Chevron Australia, Mentally Healthy WA developed the Pilbara Capacity Building Program.

The Pilbara Capacity Building Program included the development of a remote and regionally appropriate Act-Belong-Commit framework to build social and emotional wellbeing in select regional communities in Western Australia - focusing on the towns of Karratha and Onslow.

Aims 

The Pilbara Capacity Building Program aimed to:

  • Build the capacity of communities in regional and remotes area of WA by supporting and strengthening individual resilience,
  • Reduce stigma surrounding mental illness,
  • Support people to take part in activities that are good for their mental health by supporting free community events or providing free activities, and
  • Encourage local organisations to work together.

“Mentally Healthy WA provide an opportunity for mums, dads and their children to meet, create networks and establish positive relationships in Onslow. This has proven to be invaluable due to the isolation that can be felt in small communities in regional WA.”

- Rebecca Dawes, Onslow Play Group

Community Consultation

Pilbara Capacity Building Community Consultation

Following extensive community consultation, action plans for each town were developed to:

  • Improve communication and collaboration between local service providers,
  • Improve the promotion of existing events and activities,
  • Identify barriers to participation, and
  • Develop solutions to increase participation.

The Pilbara Capacity Building Program has created integral programs, invaluable community linkages and delivered improvements on the coordination of local events and agencies.

Some of the highlights from the program include:

Feel Good Feb

The annual Feel Good Feb initiative, which encourages and inspires people to initiate random acts of kindness for their fellow community members throughout the month of February;

PhotoVoice Project

The popular PhotoVoice Project challenges people to capture photos in line with the Act-Belong-Commit mentally healthy message, as well as what it means to live in the Pilbara.

PhotoVoice Project

Previous Winner of PhotoVoice Competition

“The PhotoVoice competition provided me with an opportunity to further develop my own photography skills whilst meeting likeminded people; however, I found that by introducing my son to the PhotoVoice competition and workshops, I was able to watch his confidence and interest in photography grow. The only problem I have now is that I think he is taking better photos than me!”

- Anthony Veder, 2017

The program has been recognised as a finalist in the Diversity Category of the WA Mental Health Awards 2017 for its impact in improving mental well-being in the Pilbara.

To find out more about the Act-Belong-Commit Pilbara Capacity Building Program, contact Shelley Heelan on (08) 9387 9870 or shelley.heelan@curtin.edu.au