A regional success story in capacity building in terms of workforce development in rural Western Australia is described. A rural and remote distance education program in mental health was delivered in 1999 across 10 rural sites to 31 health professionals (26 general nurses, four allied health and one Aboriginal health worker) who are in contact with mentally ill patients at the primary level in country areas. Evaluation on completion of the program and at 4 months postprogram was extremely positive, with participants reporting that they have gained knowledge of mental health management regimens, developed mental health assessment skills and enhanced their clinical practice. Both participants and their line managers identified that the program had greatest impact on improving relationships with the mental health team. The program has also been an example of capacity building in terms of innovative resourcing to address a statewide need in mental health education for those at the forefront of rural practice.