Become a Volunteer

Become a Volunteer

Mood Walks offers volunteers opportunities for those wishing to help support walking groups across Ontario.

A volunteer is an invaluable addition to our program by bringing energy, a fresh outlook, and a willingness to learn.

Since most of Mood Walks partners are charitable or non-profit organizations, volunteers are an important asset because they allow groups to function without interruptions. When individuals volunteer, it has a positive impact on their self-confidence, impacts the community, and supports philanthropic causes.

As a volunteer, you may play a significant role in supporting Mood Walks host partners by:

  • Planning and leading themed sessions by providing simple strategies to help participants maintain their mental health and well-being.
  • Helping to maintain safety by acting as the “sweep” on walks and monitoring participants.
  • Welcoming new members on their first outing and having discussion with participants during walks.
  • Debriefing with participants regularly, either in person, by phone, or through email, to discuss situations that participants may have experienced.
  • Acting as a role model and inviting questions from participants to facilitate a rich learning experience for the group.

Professional benefits of volunteering with Mood Walks

By volunteering through Mood Walks, you are connecting with local organizations who may offer a career path in social services. Since many of our partners provide their local communities support, you may find that this work aligns with your passions. When an organization is looking to hire, they are likely to begin looking at internal positions such as those who have previously volunteered with their organization.

What should I know about volunteering with Mood Walks?

Mood Walks volunteers should have an understanding of mental health and feel comfortable with engaging with people who may be at risk of or are experiencing mental health struggles. Most of our partners provide formal training and orientation for volunteers, as well as offering practicums for those in college or university.

A volunteer should have the following skills:

  • Inclusive communication and knowledge of how to initiate appropriate topics of discussion with participants.
  • Awareness around sharing personal information and setting boundaries.
  • Know how to respond if a participant experiences a physical or psychological crisis.
  • Familiar with communicating ideas within a program or with a group.

Should volunteers require more education about mental health issues, the Mental Health First Aid course is offered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (registration fee required), this is a useful introduction on how to recognize the signs and symptoms.

For more resources on mental health, you can visit the Canadian Mental Health Association and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

If you are interested in volunteering, visit the Mood Walks partner page to find a location close to you.