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Bringing mentally healthy schools to life!

The Mentally Healthy Schools Program provides a framework to embed the Act-Belong-Commit Campaign within the classroom, school environment and the whole school community in order to boost the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff and prevent the onset of mental health problems.

The Mentally Healthy Schools program aims to:

  • Encourage young Western Australians to adopt mentally healthy behaviours early in life
  • Build resiliency so they can cope better with problems and stress
  • Reduce stigma around mental illness and increase openness about discussing mental health
  • Build the capacity of school staff to create mentally healthy school environments
  • Foster partnerships between schools and their communities.

"A sense of belonging and acceptance can only lead to happy and content people in the workplace or school. Our kids and families do it tough and the Act-Belong-Commit program / philosophy very often fills many voids."

- Principal, Orelia Primary School

Act-Belong-Commit within the school community

The school setting is ideal for the Act-Belong-Commit campaign as there are many opportunities for students to be active, develop a strong sense of belonging and add meaning and purpose to their lives. 

Do something 
Stay physically, socially, spiritually and mentally active. Walk or ride to school, kick the footy with mates, write in a journal or meditate. Do things you enjoy and do them more often! 


Do something with someone
Build a sense of belonging by catching up with friends, staying close to family and joining in community events or school activities, such as the school photography club, a local sporting team or a walking or running group.


Do something meaningful 
Make a commitment to an interest or cause that provides meaning and purpose in life, such as volunteering or challenging yourself.

How does it work?

The Mentally Healthy Schools Framework provides school staff with the guidance, resources  and  training on embedding the Act-Belong-Commit ethos into the whole school setting to boost mental health and wellbeing of both students and staff and prevent the onset of mental health problems.

The Mentally Healthy Schools Program is based on the Health Promoting Schools Framework that provides ways to embed the Act-Belong-Commit Campaign within the classroom, school environment and the whole school community.

The Health Promoting Schools Framework
Figure 1: The Health Promoting Schools Framework

By becoming a Mentally Healthy School, schools receive access to a range of resources, merchandise and signage. They also receive assistance from a dedicated Program Coordinator to assist with planning projects and events, publicity, grant application writing, and training in Act-Belong-Commit message delivery.

Impact

A recent evaluation of the Mentally Healthy Schools Program shows it is making an impact in changing the way students and staff think – and talk - about mental health.

The Mentally Healthy Schools Program has made significant progress in encouraging young people to talk about mental health, in reducing stigma around mental illness, and in increasing staff and student participation in mentally healthy activities.

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You can read the 2018 Mentally Healthy Schools Impact Evaluation Report here.

"By promoting the Act, Belong, Commit message frequently, we are seeing students and staff become more positive, resilient and mentally healthy."

- Wellbeing Coordinator, Karratha Senior High School

How can my school get involved?

The great thing about the Mentally Healthy Schools Program is how flexible and adaptive it is. Each individual school decides how promotion of the Act-Belong-Commit principles are done in their school community. There are many options for all different needs, demographics, resources and capacities. 

Any primary or secondary school in Western Australia can partner with us to promote the Act-Belong-Commit message. To find out more about the program or how your school can become more mentally healthy, contact Darci Miller on (08) 9266 9791 or email darci.miller@curtin.edu.au.