The ABCs of Mental Health

The ABCs of Mental Health is the first universal research-based public mental health promotion initiative in Denmark. The initiative is organized as a partnership, which is lead from the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen.


It is just as important to strengthen and promote our mental health, as it is to strengthen our physical health. The ABCs of Mental Health partnership works to ensure that everyone, no matter their socio-economic background, age, mental health status etc. have something and someone to wake up to in the morning.

The overall goal of the ABCs of Mental Health is to promote public mental health and to support active and meaningful communities by creating the best possible conditions and environments for mental health and wellbeing. This is meant to secure that everyone can:

A: Do something, B: Do something with someone, and C: Do something meaningful.

This is done by sharing research-based information, building capacity among front personnel, sharing knowledge, and by collaborating across different disciplines and sectors.

The ABCs of Mental Health is inspired by 'Act-Belong-Commit', a universal mental health promotion initiative developed by Curtin University, Western Australia.

For administrative inquiries, please contact Project Coordinator Laura Aarup Grool at

For more information, go to: (in Danish).




In the ABCs of Mental Health partnership, we collaborate across different academic and organizational disciplines - across the public, private and civic society - to promote mental health on a research-based foundation.

The initiative focuses on:

  1. Increasing the knowledge and understanding of what people can do to strengthen their own and other's mental health through research-based information.
  2. Creating the best possible conditions for mental health and well-being for the entire Danish population across life conditions and situations.

Our goal is to reduce the complexity related to mental health and to make it more tangible to work with mental health promotion in practice - both for the individual and across organizations. The partners have different target groups, but we all work from a mutual and simple research-based framework. It is based on three messages that we know positively impact mental health and well-being: Act: Do something, Belong: Do something with someone, and Commit: Do something meaningful. 

The partnership consists of around 90 partners throughout Denmark, including The Region of Southern Denmark, a long list of municipalities, organizations, associations, companies, and researchers - because mental health is something we create together.


Mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health is pivotal for our health and our ability to function socially, economically, and education-wise. It is increasingly acknowledged both politically and in research, that mental health is paramount for our ability to work and contribute positively to society. 

Mental illness is one of the biggest disease burdens worldwide, and several studies show that it continues to go in the wrong direction in terms of mental health. For example, the latest National Health Profile in Denmark from 2023 shows that the proportion of people with low mental health is still increasing (2021-2023).

To break this trend and improve mental health among the Danish population, national and international experts point to the necessity of investing in and prioritizing mental health promotion - alongside prevention and treatment.

The ABCs of Mental Health aims at:

  • Increasing knowledge and understanding of what people can do to strengthen their own and other's mental health and well-being through research-based information. 
  • Building organizational capacity and educate qualified staff to work with mental health promotion.
  • Creating possibilities for more people to be able to take part in including communities and activities through initiatives within and across the partnership.
  • Ensuring that the initiatives are based on a solid scientific foundation through continuous research and evaluation.

Mental health is more than just the absence of mental health problems. Mental health is also about having a sense of belonging, a reason to get up in the morning, and being able to contribute with and to something beyond oneself. 

Mental health is a continuous process throughout life that takes place in interaction with the environment. Thus, we can all experience times of better or worse mental health, depending on what we encounter, and which resources are available to us.

The ABCs of Mental Health partnership works to find the best ways to collaborate, create initiatives, and communicate to promote mental health in the population. The initiatives do not follow a standardized manual but follow some overall principles and are developed in collaboration between the local municipalities, organizations, and associations involved - and in collaboration with the citizens. The initiatives are continuously being updated and adapted based on a research-based foundation.

Click here to find more information about the ABCs of Mental Health (in Danish).

Click here to see the most recent National Research Profile in Denmark (in Danish)


























We regularly participate in events and communicate our knowledge of mental health promotion. See for instance our videos about the ABCs of Mental Health below:

The video is produced by Madeclear.

The video is produced by Madeclear.

See also our video about mental health below where the Head of the Department of Psychology Vibeke Koushede offers students advise based on the ABCs of Mental Health:



The ABCs of Mental Health works within a simple, research-based framework. Through research, we ensure that politicians, volunteers, leaders and health staff have the best possible foundation to prioritize mental health promoting initiatives.

The research is conducted in a cooperation between researchers at the Department of Psychology at University of Copenhagen and the National Institute of Public Health at University of Southern Denmark.

Selected publications

You can find more publications at (in Danish).


Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Charlotte Bjerre Meilstrup Postdoc +4535322067 E-mail
Line Nielsen Postdoc +4535322103 E-mail
Laura Aarup Grool Project Coordinator +4535329596 E-mail
Cecilie Schacht Madsen Research Assistant +4535337461 E-mail
Malene Kubstrup Nelausen Teaching Assistant Professor +4535337533 E-mail


Charlotte Meilstrup
Postdoc and project manager of ABC 
Line Nielsen
Postdoc and project manager of ABC

Online course in mental well-being

Click here for more info.

Want to know more?

Click here to watch a video about the ABC project (in Danish).

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