Mood Walks for Older Adults: An Ontario Pilot Project
Mood Walks is a program that provides training and support for community mental health organizations in Ontario to launch educational walking groups for people living with a mental illness. The Mood Walks pilot project (2013-2015) focused on older adults (50+). During the inaugural 2014 hiking season, new walking groups were launched in 22 communities across Ontario. A total of 257 participants received Safe Hiker training from Hike Ontario. In addition, Hike Ontario trained 51 new Certified Hike Leaders, 21 new Safe Hiker Instructors, and 2 new Certified Hike Leader Instructors.
Want to Get Involved in Mood Walks?
- JOIN THE MOOD WALKS MAILING LIST
Stay up-to-date with project news and events.
Use the sign-up form in the sidebar.
- CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH AGENCY
Find out if they have a hiking group. If not, let them know you’re interested in joining a group. Encourage them to visit moodwalks.ca for more information about starting a Mood Walks group.
To find the Ontario agency nearest you, search the Mental Health Helpline.
Or use our branch locator to find your local CMHA.
- START YOUR OWN MOOD WALKS GROUP
The Mood Walks Program Manual can help you plan, implement, and evaluate your hiking group. It offers practical strategies and tools that can be tailored to meet your organization’s needs and goals, including information about how to overcome challenges, spark enthusiasm among participants, and maintain motivation.
Register for free access to the Mood Walks Program Manual.
The Many Benefits of Being Active in Ontario’s Greenspace
Did You Know?
Did you know doctors have been prescribing hikes? Walking in nature has been proven to provide health benefits such as: increased energy and immunity, increased weight loss and fitness, increased Vitamin D production, and reduced risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer.
A daily walk in nature can be as effective in treating mild cases of depression as taking an antidepressant.
Download the Infographic
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The Nuture of Nature: Natural Settings and Their Mental Health Benefits
Minding Our Bodies literature review, March 2013
Infographic: The Benefits of Nature, Conservation Ontario