Become a Partner

Become a Mood Walks partner

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Mood Walks partner. Twice a year, we open applications for community organizations to integrate Mood Walks into their current program offerings.

Applications Open

Autumn 2024: October 15
Spring 2025: March 17
Autumn 2025: October 13

Details and Forms Below

Why Become a Mood Walks Host Site?

Walking is Accessible

Walking is an easy and cost-effective way to incorporate physical activity while spending time in nature.

Minimal Funding

Mood Walks can be facilitated with little to no cost, depending on the organization’s needs and resources.

Easy to Incorporate

Walking programs require little training or equipment, making it easier for organizations to incorporate.

Promotes Community Exploration & Support

Walking groups provide opportunities for people who spend limited time in the community to feel supported in exploring their environment.

Supports Socializing

Group walks help counter limitations to social interaction for those with mental health symptoms.

Promotes Volunteerism

Provides a platform for peer leaders to emerge, fostering volunteerism and connection with others.

Please review all information before applying

Who Can Be a Host Site?

Any professional, volunteer organization, or entity that advocates for positive mental health, offers support for all age groups, and has programs that align with the vision, purpose, and values of CMHA Ontario is eligible to become a partner.

  • Conservation areas or Ontario Parks
  • Hiking clubs or trail associations
  • Businesses
  • Community Organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Schools

Becoming a Mood Walks Host Site

As a host site, you assume the role of a partner and the responsibility of incorporating Mood Walks into the regular programming at your organization. Mood Walks actively encourages new partnerships and invites social service agencies, community organizations, hiking clubs, conservation areas and other green spaces in both urban and rural areas to collaborate. The goal is to create opportunities for capacity building and ensure long-term sustainability of the program.

In all cases, the local organization offering Mood Walks assumes leadership of the group, particularly all interactions with group participants.

To become a host site, Mood Walks and your organization enter a mutually beneficial relationship, sharing objectives that align with our values, non-profit social organization and model. While we recognize and honour that each partnership is unique, our foundational partnership principles include: collaboration, respect, inclusion and appreciation of diverse practices, gender identities and perspectives, positive community benefits, supports and opportunities, and empowerment of participants in the Mood Walks program.

Mood Walks Lead Site

CMHA Ontario is the lead site for Mood Walks and is responsible for ensuring the integrity and delivery of the program by partnering with organizations throughout the province of Ontario.

CMHA Ontario Mood Walks has an ongoing partnership with Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario, and is responsible for connecting each host site with:

  • Hike Ontario to receive hike training to run their local walking program.
  • Conservation Ontario within their regional conservation authority to access local trails and paths to conduct walks.
  • Evidence-based research and resources to remain informed on current information.

Support from Mood Walks Lead Site

CMHA Ontario provides participating organizations with resource tools, guidance, and support for engaging participants who are at risk of, or experiencing, struggles with their mental health and well-being.

This includes:

  • Experienced supports and resources when working with new and diverse groups, ensuring an inclusive approach to mental health promotion.
  • Access to and knowledge of mental health services and supports available in your community.

As a participating organization, you are not expected to be an expert in mental health to be part of Mood Walks. CMHA Ontario recognizes that involvement in the program can enhance participants’ appreciation of mental health issues and will help foster a supportive and informed environment.

Host Site Benefits and Supports

Walking programs may be a great addition to an agency’s suite of services, which benefit clients, their families, staff, and the local community.

Mood Walks helps to:

  • Increase your visibility in the community.
  • Access additional resources and possible partnerships with other organizations.
  • Contribute to the sustainability of programming.
  • Foster a sense of accountability.

Mood Walks programs can motivate individuals to explore and make regular use of local parks and trails, conservation areas, other green spaces, and can also:

  • Promote outdoor activities by introducing participants, young people, older adults and families to conservation and hiking.
  • Raise awareness about the availability and benefits of local trails and conservation areas.
  • Encourage community members to explore and use these areas for physical activity.
  • Promote community engagement through the participation of Conservation Ontario’s annual Healthy Hikes.
  • Enhance your organization’s profile by actively promoting the health and well-being of clients and the community, build capacity, and ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Highlight the health benefits of conservation, parks, and green spaces.

Leveraging Community Connections

Involving other community organizations is a key strategy for spreading awareness, promoting positive mental health and well-being, and increasing community engagement. Finding the right community organization to work with can lead to valuable support in terms of program development, aid of equipment, and merchandise.

Benefits of connecting with other organizations include:

  • Serving as an excellent source of knowledge about local greenspaces and hiking trails.
  • Providing maps of local conservation areas and trails or recommending routes for your group.
  • Helping to plan walks and suggesting best practices and resources to ensure safety.
  • Facilitating connections with local Conservation Authorities through Conservation Ontario, providing speakers or education about the region.

If you are a Mood Walks site, you may consider building connections with local health-promoting agencies that share similar organizational goals and values. A walking group fits the objectives of many organizations to broaden your program reach and build capacity that strengthens community ties. It can also be an effective means to lessen the stigma associated with mental illness.

You may consider partnerships with:

  • Fitness and community centres, such as the YMCA, and other community recreation centres, could offer a meeting space for your group.
  • Local businesses may provide free or discounted walking apparel and equipment or offer snacks for your group.
  • Community spaces, such as church basements and libraries, may offer free or affordable meeting space.
  • Local high schools, colleges, and universities may have students interested in placement experiences or volunteer opportunities.
  • Community groups and Indigenous centres.

How to Apply

If you are interested in learning more about partnering with Mood Walks, review and download our partnership guide and application. The successful candidate will be responsible for leading any marketing initiatives, interactions with participants, facilitating groups, and maintaining connections.

Partnership Info Package (PDF)