Communities That Care

Empowering school communities to reduce student mental health issues.

  • Tier: Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
  • Type of intervention: Local community-led mental health interventions
  • Strength of evidence: Level 4: Established evidence for program (supported by quality research evidence)
  • Geographic location: Statewide

Program description

The Communities That Care program aims to reduce student mental health issues by training school staff to form partnerships that bring together school teams and stakeholders.

Communities That Care provides each school with a 5-phase series of training events that will improve the selection of programs from the School Mental Health Menu, reducing pathways to student mental health problems in the local community.

The program includes online introductory trainings, consulting support for each phase, community forum and a youth survey.

Intended outcomes

Staff knowledge of community mental health promotion models and Communities That Care.

Program details

Target audience
  • Primary school students - upper
  • Secondary school students - lower
  • Secondary school students - upper
  • Capacity building for primary school staff
  • Capacity building for secondary school staff 
Program providerCommunities That Care
Delivery modeCombination of face-to-face and online

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: Late primary and secondary schools.
  • Program adaptability: The program can be used to enhance community partnerships, select a stand-alone social and emotional learning program in the classroom, or adapted to complement existing wellbeing programs. It can be adapted and implemented in a variety of ways to suit specific student cohorts.
  • Staffing: Schools staff will require online access and professional development release to complete training.
  • Training requirements: Training is comprised of a 2 hour online introductory training, with an additional 2 hour online training sessions and 4 hours consulting support available on request at other phases of the program.
  • Factors to consider: Phase 1.1's 2-hour online introductory training will be run quarterly or when groups of 25 people are booked in. Interested staff completing the Phase 1.1 training will be prompted to enquire if their school team are interested in purchasing the Phase 1.2 training from the Menu.
  • Australian context: Communities That Care was developed in the United States of America and has been applied and evaluated in Australia.


Item cost: 


Detailed cost: 

Not all phases of the program need to be purchased, each phase will help staff decide if they are interested in purchasing the next phase. The price for Phase 1.1 is per staff member and from Phase 1.2 to 5.3 is per school team of approximately 5 staff.

Charges vary for each phase of the program (inc. GST):

  • Phase 1.1: $220
  • Phase 1.2: $2,200
  • Phase 2.1: $3,300
  • Phase 2.2: $2,200
  • Phase 3.1: $2,200
  • Phase 3.2: $16,500
  • Phase 4.1: $2,200
  • Phase 4.2: $2,200
  • Phase 5.1: $2,200
  • Phase 5.2: $16,500
  • Phase 5.3: $2,200