Educational Walking Programs to Promote Mental Health
Mood Walks for Campus Mental Health is a provincial program that provides training and support for postsecondary institutions across Ontario to launch educational walking programs to support the mental and physical health of students – including those at risk of, or experiencing mental health disabilities, and newcomer students who may be experiencing additional stress due to settlement challenges and social exclusion, – through participation in physical activity, engagement with their community, and the benefits from exposure to the healing effects of nature.
Mood Walks for Campus Mental Health promotes both physical and mental health by reducing barriers and creating new opportunities for students to be physically active. All participants receive Safe Hiker training from Hike Ontario and participate in group walks on local hiking trails and at Conservation Areas (including events during the Healthy Hikes Challenge, May-October).
Mood Walks is an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, in partnership with Hike Ontario , Conservation Ontario, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
About CMHA Ontario
Founded in 1952, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario, is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to making mental health possible for all. CMHA Ontario works closely with its 31 local branches in communities across the province to ensure the quality delivery of services to consumers and families of individuals with mental illness, dual diagnosis and concurrent disorders. CMHA Ontario contributes knowledge, resources and skills to provincial policy development and implementation. We promote mental health in collaboration with others. We further equitable access to mental health services and champion the reduction of mental health disparities.
About Conservation Ontario
Conservation Ontario is the network of 36 Conservation Authorities, local watershed management agencies that deliver services and programs that protect and manage water and other natural resources in partnership with government, landowners and other organizations. Conservation Authorities promote an integrated watershed approach balancing human, environmental and economic needs. Conservation Authorities are organized on a watershed basis.
About Hike Ontario
Hike Ontario is the sole provider of province-wide hiking information and services. Hike Ontario is also unique amongst Canada ‘s provinces and territories in many of the services it provides to this province’s hiking associations and citizens. Eighty-five percent of Canadians walk for leisure and recreation. Thus, Hike Ontario acts as the voice for over 9 million hikers and walkers in Ontario.
About the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH)
The Centre for Innovation on Campus Mental Health (CICMH) is a partnership project involving Colleges Ontario, the Council of Ontario Universities, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, the College Student Alliance and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division. CICMH has created a campus mental health community of practice which connects a broad cross-section of stakeholders in Ontario, including student services, counselling, accessibility, health, faculty, administration, student leaders and community partners. Members of the community of practice learn from each other, collaborate, share knowledge and experiences, best and promising practices; and jointly problem-solve to address gaps in the field. An online portal helps support this community practice by providing members with a virtual space to continue their sharing, learning and collaboration.
About the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
OCASI was formed in 1978 to act as a collective voice for immigrant-serving agencies and to coordinate response to shared needs and concerns. OCASI is a registered charity governed by a volunteer board of directors. Its membership is comprised of more than 200 community-based organizations in the province of Ontario. The Mission of OCASI is to achieve equality, access and full participation for immigrants and refugees in every aspect of Canadian life.