Volunteer Guide

Mood Walks supports the development of new volunteer opportunities within participating social service agencies, local hiking clubs, conservation areas and other green spaces both urban and rural, post-secondary institutions and community organizations to create opportunities for capacity building and long-term sustainability. 

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Read on to find out how you could benefit by participating in the Mood Walks project!

On this page…

Walking groups are valuable tools for mental health service providers, benefitting clients, families, staff, organizations, and communities. Your expertise, resources, and knowledge about your community, the natural environment or hiking could be of great benefit to a Mood Walks group!

Volunteer benefits and support may include:

  • Introducing young people and families to conservation and hiking
  • Raising awareness and increasing participation in physical activity
  • New relationships with local social service agencies and community organizations
  • Highlighting the health benefits of conservation, parks and green spaces
  • Access to the Mood Walks Website for additional resources
  • Peer leadership opportunities
  • An opportunity to engage with other Volunteers

SUPPORT FROM LEAD ORGANIZATIONS

In addition to being responsible for hosting Mood Walks groups, Lead Organizations provide participating volunteers with guidance and support about engaging with youth who are at risk or experiencing mental health issues.

You will not be expected to be an expert in mental health to be part of Mood Walks, although your appreciation of mental health issues will likely increase as part of the program!


Be a Mood Walks Volunteer

Mood Walks groups are led by local community organizations. Lead Organizations assume all leadership and responsibility for their group, especially regarding interactions with participants who may be experiencing mental health issues.

Local hiking clubs, parks and conservation areas, urban green space initiatives, schools, and other community partners are encouraged to establish lasting relationships with community agencies participating in Mood Walks. What these partnerships look like may vary as all partners work together to determine the best way to utilize each other’s strengths while respecting each partner’s available time and resources.

Here are some ways we envision you might volunteer or support a Mood Walks group:

  • Contribute your hiking knowledge and skills as a volunteer hike leader
  • Share your knowledge of local green spaces and hiking trail:
    • Recommend a hiking route
    • Volunteer your time to pre-walk a trail.
  • Attend walks as a supportive volunteer
  • Provide transportation — help participants get to and from hiking trails
  • Help an organization evaluate the success of their Mood Walks group
  • Spread the word — promote Mood Walks using your website or Twitter 


Who Can Be a Volunteer?

Any individual or student that can offer support to a Mood Walks program is welcome to reach out to a local Mood Walks group!

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