Act-Belong-Commit is the 2013 winner of the Australian Medical Association (WA) and Healthway Healthier WA Award, announced in July. Western Australia’s leading public health award, it recognises excellence and innovation in primary prevention in health care.
A small team based at Curtin University is responsible for the Act-Belong-Commit campaign, which aims to reduce factors associated with mental illness and suicide through three preventative measures: keeping socially, mentally and physically active (Act); joining family or community activities (Belong); and embracing meaningful challenges or causes (Commit).
“Public recognition awards such as these are an important and tremendous boost to our team members,” says Campaign Manager Amberlee Laws, adding that the award also served to raise the profile of mental health in WA.
“Only 10 years ago the mere concept of population mental health promotion was almost non-existent. Now, both health professionals and members of the public are thinking more proactively about what we can do as individuals and as a society to enhance mental wellbeing.”
The world-first initiative has inspired similar campaigns nationally and internationally, with a team at Waseda University, in Japan, adapting the campaign to help children affected by the 2010 tsunami.