Act Belong Commit is an evidence-based health promotion campaign designed to encourage people to take action to improve and protect their mental health and wellbeing.
First developed in 2002, Act Belong Commit is Australia’s longest running mental health promotion campaign.
We know that staying active, connecting with others and doing something meaningful are powerfully protective and provide the foundations for mental health and wellbeing.
Mentally Healthy WA’s Act Belong Commit is directed from within Curtin University’s School of Population Health. The overarching campaign is funded by Healthway and the Mental Health Commission in Western Australia See our targeted programs and initiatives and the organisations who fund them.
About the Campaign
Act Belong Commit encourages people to take action to improve and protect their mental health and wellbeing by promoting protective behaviours known to increase mental wellbeing at the individual and community levels. The campaign encourages the creation of environments to support mental health and wellbeing in a variety of settings.
The Act Belong Commit campaign has two key elements:
- A statewide mass media led social marketing health promotion campaign
- Supportive Programs and Initiatives that build the capacity of the community to promote mental health and wellbeing. These are delivered across a range of sectors and audiences including health services, local governments, schools, workplaces, community organisations and local clubs. The flagship strategy is the campaign’s Partnership Program (link to Partnership Program page).
The Act Belong Commit campaign engages all Western Australians aged 18 years and over, including:
- people in low socio-economic circumstances and experiencing disadvantage (through economic, physical, cultural, social or educational factors);
- parents and carers of young children/teenagers; and
- sub-population groups including regional communities, Aboriginal people and culturally and linguistically diverse people.
The campaign aims to:
- encourage people to prioritise mental health;
- motivate and inspire people to take action to improve their mental health (by providing them with the tips and tools to do so); and
- encourage organisations to provide opportunities for people to connect.
Mentally Healthy WA
Mentally Healthy WA, is a not-for-profit organisation which directs and coordinates the well-established Act Belong Commit campaign from within Curtin University’s School of Population Health.
Mentally Healthy WA has a long history with Curtin University, where the original Act Belong Commit message and campaign were born. Mentally Healthy WA ensures a continuing and expanding research base for mental health and wellbeing promotion and strong foundations for the Act Belong Commit campaign. Today. Mentally Healthy WA operates a range of programs and initiatives, including the statewide campaign, which are funded from a number of different sources.
Mentally Healthy WA is guided by a Steering Committee which provides strategic direction, advocacy and community links to strengthen the Act Belong Commit Campaign. An Expert Advisory Panel, which includes subject specialists from the fields of health promotion and psychology, also provide content input to the campaign. This governance guides the campaign strategy against the Evaluation Framework (2020-22).
Mentally Healthy WA Strategic Direction 2020-2024
Mentally Healthy WA’s story began in 2002 when researchers at Curtin University were commissioned by Healthway to investigate people’s perceptions of mental health and the behaviours they believed protected and promoted mental wellbeing. Finding were used to develop the Act Belong Commit campaign message and strategy.
Following a successful pilot phase (2005-2007) in six regional communities throughout Western Australia, the campaign was launched state-wide in 2008 and has since grown from strength to strength, with uptake in other parts of Australia, Europe and the USA.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and reports of increased mental health issues provided the impetus for Mentally Healthy WA to review every aspect of the Act Belong Commit campaign strategy. The core messages of Act Belong Commit are as relevant today as when the campaign first started. A new creative strategy and execution was developed to evolve the brand to be more relevant to contemporary audiences and settings.
Today, the Act Belong Commit campaign continues to resonate with Western Australians in its bid to motivate and inspire people to take action to protect and improve mental health and wellbeing. Engaging more than 300+ partners across the State, the campaign successfully works at both the individual and community level.
Images used in the Act Belong Commit Explained video are courtesy of Southern Edge Arts – Julie Holland, Rockingham PhotoVoice – Megan White, Ability Heroes, Albany Book Club, Ed Connect Australia, City of Fremantle, and Rockingham Ceramics Studio.