Mental health first aid – African community


1 November 2019 - 31 December 2019

Funding Amount:





Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned the “Mental health first aid – African community” project to support the development of mental health literacy and suicide prevention knowledge in Melbourne’s West African community. It was delivered through the provision of mental health first aid training.   

The project provided culturally appropriate advice for participants on how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis. It equipped participants to assist until professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.   

Initially it targeted male community leaders, with follow up sessions run with a women’s group.


Following an evaluation of the project, participants reported these outcomes: 

  • The training was community specific and culturally safe.  
  • The training was specific to the local West African community, building on suicide prevention capability. Participants gave it an average relevancy score of 4.89 out of 5. 
  • It increased capability to recognise and respond to suicidality. 
  • It improved mental health and suicide prevention literacy.  

Nine participants completed the training course and collectively reported that it met their expectations. They said they were now more confident and knowledgeable to respond to suicide distress.  

100 per cent of participants reported that they could now recognise and correct other people’s misconceptions about mental health problems. All said the course was “very informative, eye opening and equipping”.

Services involved