Act-Belong-Commit campaign hoping to help Muswellbrook residents deal with mental health

Carly Hughes will coordinate the Act-Belong-Commit mental health campaign
Carly Hughes will coordinate the Act-Belong-Commit mental health campaign

A NEW campaign designed to make people aware of how to keep a healthy well-being will launch in Muswellbrook later this month.

The program, which originated in Western Australia, has only been used in NSW once before which means locals will have an incredible opportunity to access information they haven’t been able to in the past.

The Act-Belong-Commit (ABC) campaign will be coordinated by Carly Hughes, and she said it’s aimed at encouraging people to think proactively about their health and wellbeing.

Ms Hughes said she was excited to be part of the initiative in the Muswellbrook Shire, which has seen great success in WA who is celebrating a decade of Act-Belong-Commit this year.

In WA, the campaign has helped to reduce stigma and made more people open to mental health.

“The idea of ABC is that people do actions to stay mentally, socially, physically and spiritually active,” she said.

It doesn’t have to be a big step to start, said Ms Hughes, with a simple walk or visit to a friend or family member sufficing to maintain some people’s spirits.

She added the strength of the program was that it could be done with or without support from others, so it offered a level of flexibility not seen in other projects.

“With the ABC campaign it’s about connecting with partners within the community to help spread that message as well,” Ms Hughes said.

“So, from an individual perspective, you can Act-Belong-Commit, within a workplace [too] and then hopefully the workplace is working with the community as well.

“Commit is about making a commitment, so that might be volunteering, taking on further education and taking on something that challenges them as well as doing something nice for someone else.

“With ABC it’s building more awareness about having a positive mental health and looking after yourself, so it’s more of an awareness building campaign.”

The launch will take place on Wednesday, September 26, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and will be a brainstorming activity to help the community understand a bit more about the program.

More information and videos can be found on the Facebook page, Muswellbrook Healthy & Well, or Ms Hughes herself can be contacted at 0438 264 610.