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establishing best practice principles for peer-led models used in mental health promotion: by and for migrants from cald backgrounds in a western australian context.

Project Timeline: April 2023 - February 2024

Funding: Australian Health Promotion Association Graduate Scholarship Project 2023 funded by Healthway.

Project Team: Eliza Lock (Curtin University), Dr Gemma Crawford (Curtin University), Dr Krysten Blackford (Curtin University).

Context: Evidence shows that migrants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds (hereafter migrants), may disproportionately experience poor mental health outcomes. This can be due to experiences before and during migration including trauma, persecution, control over travel, health literacy, policy and networks. Post-migration factors such as language, employment, income, academic recognition, and experiences of discrimination increase the risk of mental health challenges. Australia is highly multicultural; more than half of Australians were born overseas or had a parent born overseas. Western Australia (WA) has more overseas-born residents than any other jurisdiction. However, migrants are not priority populations across various health and social policy areas.

Project overview and aims: Drawing on the peer and social influence literature, experiences of service providers and those with lived experience, this project will develop best practice principles for peer-led models, to promote mental health among migrants in Perth, WA. The project focus is consistent with Healthway’s aim of improving mental health outcomes through social connectedness.  Meaningful involvement of migrants in specific health promotion action for mental wellbeing can produce successful outcomes. Improving mental health outcomes within individuals and communities can potentially improve the structures and systems that impact other aspects of life for migrants. The goal of this project is to develop best practice principles for peer-led mental health promotion models for migrants from CaLD backgrounds in Perth, WA.


The following objectives will be achieved by the conclusion of the project:

  1. Identify barriers and enablers to the use of peer-led models used in health promotion action to engage migrants from CaLD backgrounds.

  2. Explore the feasibility and acceptability of peer-led models used in health promotion action to engage migrants from CaLD backgrounds.

  3. Co-design recommendations and principles for peer-led mental health promotion among migrants from CALD backgrounds.  

Target Group:

Two target groups will be addressed through this project.


Primary – Migrants from CaLD backgrounds, living in Perth, WA. 
WA’s population is vastly diverse, with migrants (including those with varied cultural and linguistic diversity) comprising around one-third of the population. The term ‘migrant’ applies to those who are born overseas but live predominantly in Australia. A person's cultural and linguistic diversity is defined in Australia by three factors: being born in a non-Anglo/Celtic country; arriving in Australia recently (within the last five years); and speaking a foreign language and/or not being fluent in English.

Secondary – WA service providers working in health and social services. Specifically, the project will engage stakeholders working in: 

  1. mental health promotion; 

  2. peer-led service delivery; and 

  3. migrant health and social services organisation.

Agencies will be those able to provide perspectives on current or potential services and policies to facilitate peer-led mental health promotion for migrants.


Strategies: This project will implement strategies based on principles such as co-design and participatory action research approaches, that underpin peer-led models. The following strategies will be implemented to address the goal and objectives of this project:

  1. Conduct a literature review of international, national and state evidence, focusing on peer-led models used in health promotion.

  2. Engage primary and secondary target groups regarding perspectives on peer-led approaches.

  3. Conduct a workshop to co-design best practice principles with members from primary and secondary target groups.

Contact information

Eliza Lock (she/her), Project Officer


Phone: 08 9266 7550

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