Did you know that almost one in five Australians experience some form of mental illness each year, and one in two will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives?
Source: National Mental Health Commission 2019
The City of Baywater is committed to supporting positive mental health and wellbeing within the community, and has partnered with Mentally Healthy WA to promote the Act-Belong-Commit (A-B-C) health campaign.
Act-Belong-Commit encourages people to take positive steps to improve their mental health, and in turn, build a more connected community. The campaign's principles are so universal that the program has been adopted throughout Australia, as well as overseas (Denmark, Faroe Islands, Japan and Norway).
The City will promote the campaign through various community events, activites and initatives.
The Act-Belong-Commit guidelines provide a simple approach that people can adopt to improve their mental health and wellbeing:
ACT - Keeping active and engaged with the world around you
BELONG - Having a sense of belonging and identity
COMMIT - Doing things that give meaning and purpose to your life.
To learn more, click on the headings below, and keep an eye out for the Act-Belong-Commit initiative at future City of Bayswater events.
What does it mean to be 'mentally healthy'? Who is the program aimed at?
It means that most of the time, you feel positive about yourself, what you do, and your relationship with other people. It also means that you have sufficient coping mechanisms when things get tough, whether it's support from family, friends, or health care professionals.
You might feel mentally healthy already, or have been feeling a bit 'down', or you have (or have had) a mental illness or mental health issue. The program provides guidance on steps everyone can take to affect their mental health in positive ways.
- Go for a walk - everyone knows that walking is good for you. It improves your circulation, lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your muscles, reduces stress and promotes better sleep. Being outside in the fresh air is beneficial to your mental and physical health and also gives you time to appreciate nature!
- Read a book - reading has been shown to positively affect mental health, as brain-stumulating activities reduce stress, prevent memory loss, and help you sleep better.
- Talk to someone - speaking with someone lets you see things from other perspectives, and you may gain new ways of thinking about things. Talking about problems has been shown to reduce stress and strengthen one's immune system.
- Meditate or pray - mental health benefits include better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness and self-esteem, and lower levels of stress and anxiety.
Commit - Take up a cause, volunteer, commit to something that brings meaning and purpose to your life
- Join a book club - meet new people, make new friends and gain new perspectives. Spending time with like-minded people decreases stress levels and improves mental health.
- Take a cooking class - learn how to make delicious food and feel a real sense of satisfaction at your new-found skills.
- Go to community events - meet people of all ages, walks of life, and those with similar interests, Feel part of the community in an environment that promotes harmony.
- Join a sports team - being part of a team has many benefits: it builds strong relationshships, increases self-esteem, develops your problem-solving skills, improves your physical health and reduces stress.
- Volunteer - there are many benefits to volunteering; you can help people, make new friends and learn new skills. Giving to others and having a sense of purpose improves your mental health and reduces stress.
- Learn something new - helps you to grow as a person and will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
- Take on a challenge - facing a challenge can make you feel mentally, emotionally or physically stronger and more capable. It also encourages creativity and growth.
- Teach others - teaching is a rewarding experience as it makes a difference in people's lives . By helping others develop and grow, you will positively contribute to their (and your) mental wellbeing.