What is Act-Belong-Commit?
Being active, having a sense of belonging and having a purpose in life all contribute to happiness and good mental health.
Act-Belong-Commit is a unique, evidence-based mental health promotion program applicable to the whole community. It was created in Western Australia, and has now expanded to other states and globally.
In essence, Act-Belong-Commit aims to increase individual and community wellbeing by increasing and strengthening connections between community members.
We do this by encouraging participation in family, cultures, community events and organisations, and increasing collaboration between community organisations that offer activities conducive to good mental health and wellbeing.
The A-B-C guidelines for positive mental health provide a simple approach we can all adopt to become more mentally healthy:
"Do Something"Keep active in as many ways as you can -physically, socially, mentally, culturally and spiritually.
- take a walk
- read a book
- do a crossword
- stop for a chat
- Learn more
"Do Something with Someone"Keep connected to friends and family; get involved in groups, join in local community activities.
- join a book club
- take a cooking class
- go to community events
- get involved in groups or clubs
- Learn more
"Do Something Meaningful"Commit to a cause; become a volunteer; learn a new skill; or take up a challenge yourself.
- take up a cause
- help a neighbour
- learn something new
- take on a challenge
- Learn more
Being active—physically, socially, mentally, culturally and spiritually are the basic building blocks for good mental health. Being active keeps us alert, energetic and in touch with others.
There is substantial evidence that people with higher levels of activity have a greater sense of wellbeing and mental health.
Having strong social connections with friends, family and the wider community are an essential ingredient to a productive and fulfilling life.
There are many ways to increase our sense of belonging; it's all about joining in and connecting with others. Feeling a part of something—even something like a crowd at a footy game or rock concert—boosts our mood and makes us feel good about ourselves and glad to be alive.
Commit refers to making deeper commitments to personal pursuits. You can ‘commit’ by volunteering, helping others, learning new skills or setting a personal challenge—all of these things make us feel good about ourselves, improves our self-confidence, self-esteem and enhances our mental health.
The greater the level of commitment to one’s interest or group, the greater the sense of self, satisfaction from one’s efforts and contribution to personal and community mental health.