Courageous African Women Network helping improve wellbeing


Patience Awosa, Margaret Sam and Evelyn Saah.
Patience Awosa, Margaret Sam and Evelyn Saah.

AN intrepid group of African women are revitalising communities across Perth through new social activities to improve mental health and overall wellbeing

The Courageous African Women Network, launched on July 23, is a partnership between the African Women’s Association and local not-for-profit mental health and wellbeing organisation, Richmond Wellbeing.

With a vision to establish a network of active women coming together to share stories, skills and support in a culturally and socially safe environment, the network offers a range of active programs and classes with women leading women to have more connected lives and to feel supported in their life choices.

Vice-chairwoman of the Network Yvonne Johnson said a key goal was to ensure access to supportive mental health practices for women, while supplying them with a range of self-empowering services including mentoring, exercise and health classes.

Activities included workshops and training covering areas such as parenting, life-coaching, sexual health and safety, and other important lifestyle issues.

“Sharing the experience of traditional dance brings a positive energy to the group and a better understanding of each other. We want to allow our women to share their different ideas about self-empowerment and personal wellbeing, and to give each other the strength to reach their personal goals,” Ms Johnson said.

Support of the Courageous African Women Network is an outreach initiative of Richmond Wellbeing’s Partners In Recovery (PIR) Program.

Richmond Wellbeing chief executive Neil Guard said the PIR program was introduced by the Australian Federal Government to address deeper challenges that existed within the mental health system to develop a cooperative approach between service providers.

“Through our Partners in Recovery program we aim to assist the Courageous African Women Network to nurture strong, confident, empowered women who have a positive vision for their futures and the future of our local communities,” he said.

“It’s also a great way to address issues such as depression amongst a very isolated community group.”

He said prevention was better than a cure.

“Life challenges and mental health issues affect people across all ages, nationalities and cultures. To positively impact, overall health and wellbeing across these diverse demographics we need to encourage people to share their messages and experiences of acceptance and recovery,” Mr Guard said.