Creating A Mentally Healthy WA

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Amberlee Nicholas

Mrs Amberlee Nicholas, Campaign Manager at Act-belong-commit, Curtin University joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Creating A Mentally Healthy WA: Act-Belong-Commit’s 10 Year Journey’.

Abstract

Act-Belong-Commit is a well-established health promotion campaign in Western Australia, with 81% of Western Australians reached by the campaign.

The campaign which was rolled out statewide in Western Australia in 2008, encourages everyone to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

As the brand name suggests, people can build positive mental health by keeping physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially active (Act); by keeping involved in family and community activities, and participating in community events (Belong); and by taking on challenges or causes that provide meaning and purpose in their lives (Commit). There is substantial evidence that these three behavioural domains contribute to both mental and physical health.

This presentation will tell the story of Act-Belong-Commit, from the beginnings of the statewide expansion, to the growth of the campaign to include over 230 partners and programs targeting priority groups including Aboriginal communities, young people, rural and remote communities and people recovering from mental illness. The campaign’s diffusion across Australia and overseas will also be discussed.

The latest population survey results will be presented which show the campaign is increasing people’s knowledge of the sorts of things they can and should do to keep mentally healthy, reducing stigma associated with mental illness, encouraging people to be more open about mental health issues, and encouraging people to engage in activities conducive to mental wellbeing, including joining community organisations and volunteering.

Finally, we will explore what factors have facilitated the campaign’s success, reflect on the barriers, and outline a roadmap for the future.

Biography

Amberlee Nicholas is the Manager of the Act-Belong-Commit Campaign, a position she has held for 10 years. She is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the campaign in partnership with internal and external stakeholders. In her earlier career, Amberlee worked in rural and remote areas in Western Australia, which provided her with a strong foundation for grassroots health promotion and community development.

For further information on the upcoming 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit anzmh.asn.au/conference