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?
Here are some ideas:
1) Join the Mood Walks mailing list to stay up-to-date regarding the project. See the sign-up form in the sidebar.
2) Connect with your local mental health agency to find out if they have a hiking group. If not, let them know you’re interested in forming a group. Encourage them to visit moodwalks.ca and join the mailing list. To find the Ontario agency nearest you, search the Mental Health Helpline. Or find your local CMHA in Ontario using our branch locator.
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.
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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