27 September 2022

The ABCs of mental health receives the Public Health Award 2022

Mental health

The Danish Society for Public Health gives an award every year to a person, a project, an institution or a municipality for special efforts in public health. This year the award goes to "The ABCs of mental health".

Researchers on stage to receive award.

In 2016, the researchers behind the project "The ABCs of mental health" received a grant from the Nordea Foundation, which enabled a national partnership on mental health. The partnership has since grown exponentially and now includes more than 60 partners.

"When we aim to promote the population's mental health, there is a need to work together across sectors and actors in the public sector and in civil society," highlights project manager Charlotte Bjerre Meilstrup from the Department of Psychology.

Many good stories about ABC

She and the other ABC researchers have experienced great support from municipalities, associations and organisations. Now the project also receives support from the Danish Society for Public Health, which has just given the annual Public Health Award to the ABCs of mental health.

As justification, the Danish Society for Public Health mentions "the overall effort over several years and the great support from municipalities". There are many good stories about the results of the ABCs of mental health, the Society points out.

Charlotte Bjerre Meilstrup and her research colleagues are enormously proud to receive the Public Health Award.

"It is a great recognition of the work we have done over the past many years. When we started the ABCs of mental health, there were not many initiatives in Denmark that focused on mental health – especially not with a mental health-promoting approach", she says.

Award can raise attention

The Nordea Foundation's grant expired in May 2022. The ABCs of mental health is now anchored in the Department of Psychology, from where a small group ensures that some of the basic elements are carried forward. Charlotte Bjerre Meilstrup is, however, concerned that much of the collaboration that has been built up over the years may be lost if more funding isn´t   found.

" We have succeeded in establishing a large and well-functioning partnership whose research-based work can be part of breaking the negative development within mental health," she says and elaborates:

"I hope that the Public Health Award can help create further awareness of the ABCs of mental health - and in that way help secure funding for our continued work. We would like to get the ABC-messages out to even more people, so that better conditions and environments can be created for more people to have high mental well-being".

The Public Health Award was presented during the Public Health Days at Hotel Nyborg Strand on 26-27 September. The honor comes with an amount of DKK 10,000.


Charlotte Bjerre Meilstrup
Postdoc, Department of Psychology
Mail: cbm@psy.ku.dk
Phone: +45 35 32 20 67

Simon Knokgaard Halskov
Press and communications officer
Mail: sih@samf.ku.dk
Phone: +45 93 56 53 29


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