The ABC of mental health

Mental health, like physical health, is fundamental to short and long-term health and thriving, the ability to work and the ability to contribute positively to society. Mental health is more than absence of mental health problems, and treatment alone is unlikely to make a significant difference to the escalating rates of mental health problems being experienced worldwide. Experts recognize that interventions focusing on prevention and promotion are critical in enabling individuals to protect and promote their mental health. It is important to be physically healthy but it is just as important to take care of our mental health.


The ABC of mental health is a comprehensive, population-wide program with a strong evidence base, universal principles of mental health and well-being, and success in implementation abroad.

The project will contribute with evidence on how to promote mental health and well-being for individuals and across organizations, municipalities and associations in Denmark. The project has run for a two-year pilot phase. Experiences from the pilot phase will form the basis for the next phase which runs from 2018-2021. In this phase, the project will disseminate nationwide. The evidence gained from the project will also contribute to national recommendations on mental health promotion.


ABC for mental health has three sub-messages that form the basis for the project:

Act – do something active, Belong - do something with someone, Commit - do something meaningful.

The ABC of mental health is an evidence based framework for mental health promotion. It consists of:

  • Universal intervention and information (i.e. targeting the entire population) encouraging individuals to engage in mentally healthy activities.
  • Partnerships with organizations to support and increase mental health promoting activities. This includes training of staff and volunteers in the ABC of mental health framework

The ABC of mental health is the Danish adaption of Act-Belong-Commit developed by Mentally Healthy WA, Curtin University, Australia.

Period of project

September 2018 – August 2021 (Pilot phase: 2016-2018)

Collaborations and funding provider

The ABC of mental health is supported financially by Nordea-fonden.

The pilotphase of ABC of mental health has included seven municipalities in a partnership with the National Institute of Public Health, the Danish Mental Health Foundation, the Healthy Cities Network, Local Government Denmark, DGI, DDS, DOF, DMJX and Red Cross Copenhagen. In the next phase new municipalities and private and voluntary organizations will be included continuously and allow ABC to spread nationwide.

Looking for further reading?

Go visit the project website

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