A 15-Week Mood Walks Plan

Here is an outline of how you could conduct a group over 15 weeks, along with estimated time requirements. The order in which these events occurs is flexible — this outline is meant to give you an idea of what is involved in running a Mood Walks group from week to week. You will notice that the first several weeks will require more time; once the group is in action, time demands on group leaders will decrease. Activities in bold are related to evaluation. See “Evaluating Your Mood Walks Group” for details about evaluation, and “Mood Walks Evaluation Tools” for the documents.

Week Goal Activities Time
1 & 2 Advertising and Planning

  • Make a Mood Walks bulletin board with posters about the upcoming Mood Walks group and introductory session
  • Tell clients, staff, and other local agencies about Mood Walks
  • Connect with project partners at Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario
  • Advertise volunteer positions
  • Attend “Orientation to Mood Walks” webinar
  • Begin to plan routes and create schedule
  • Review safety plans and gather safety equipment
  • Arrange transportation, if required

10 hours
3 Introductory Session

  • Invite partners to join you in an information session for potential participants
  • Plan session and copy materials/handouts
  • Invite participants and run the session

4 hours
4 Orientation

  • Invite interested group members to attend an orientation session about the group
  • Plan session and copy materials/handouts
  • Run the session, including participant goal-setting
  • Complete Participants’ Mood Walks Pre-Program Questionnaire
  • Arrange Safe Hiker training with Hike Ontario partner or contact [email protected] to (see “Hike Ontario Training for Mood Walks Participants”)

4 hours
5 & 6 Group Walks

  • Select a theme for the walks
  • Prepare snacks
  • Lead the walks
  • Invite participants to upcoming Safe Hiker training
  • Debrief with partners, volunteers, students
  • Debrief with participants and look for opportunities for peer leadership
  • Update bulletin board and newsletter posts
  • Complete Leader’s Tracking and Sign-In for Participants forms

3 hours per week
7 Safe Hiker Training

  • Ensure training space is equipped with required equipment (see “Hike Ontario Training for Mood Walks Participants”)
  • Host training

10 hours
8 & 9 Group Walks

  • Select a theme for walks
  • Prepare snacks
  • Lead walks
  • Debrief with partners, volunteers, and/or students
  • Debrief with participants and look for peer leadership opportunities
  • Update bulletin board and post newsletter
  • Complete Leader’s Tracking and Sign-In for Participants forms

3 hours per week
10 Midpoint Check-In

  • Check in with participants’ progress toward goals
  • Discuss Certified Hike Leader training opportunity with participants (see “Hike Ontario Training for Mood Walks Participants”)
  • Get feedback about the group so far
  • Go for a short walk
  • Complete Leader’s Tracking and Sign-In for Participants forms
  • Teleconference with leaders from other mental health agencies

5 hours
11-13 Group Walks

  • Update bulletin board and post newsletter
  • Select a theme for walks
  • Prepare snacks
  • Lead walks
  • Debrief with partners, volunteers, and/or students
  • Debrief with participants and look for peer leadership opportunities
  • Update bulletin board and post newsletter
  • Plan route for upcoming conservation area walk
  • Complete Leader’s Tracking and Sign-In for Participants forms

3 hours per week
14 Walk at a Conservation Area

  • Invite partners from Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario
  • Finalize transportation arrangements
  • Prepare snacks and lead the walk
  • Debrief with partners, volunteers, students
  • Teleconference with leaders from other mental health agencies and partners from Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario
  • Complete Leader’s Tracking and Sign-In for Participants forms

6 hours
15 Final Walk

  • Update bulletin board and post newsletter
  • Go for a final walk (See “Sample Themed Walks—Your Favourite Route”)
  • Complete Leader’s Tracking and Sign-In for Participants forms

3 hours
Wrap-up

  • Run Wrap-up Session (see “Mood Walks Evaluation”)
  • Complete Participants’ Mood Walks Follow-up Questionnaire and facilitate Mood Walks Follow-up Focus Group
  • Attend “Sharing Your Successes” webinar with other walk leaders and partners from hiking clubs and Conservation Authorities
  • Complete and submit Final Mood Walks Report

7 hours
Total Time: 70 hours

Time-Saving Tips

Involving participant leaders, partners, and student or community volunteers can reduce the time demand on you! Some ideas:

  • Ask your hiking club or conservation area partner to suggest walking routes for your group.
  • See if a volunteer may be able to pre-walk your routes and provide you with feedback.
  • Look for roles for participants who may be interested in helping out, perhaps by maintaining the group bulletin board, creating a group schedule, or receiving feedback from other participants.
  • Find volunteers who may be interested in planning special events, such as guest speakers or an awards ceremony, or leading group activities such as a Photovoice project or a goal-setting session.
  • Ask for volunteers willing and able to help participants complete the Participants’ Mood Walks Pre-Program and Follow-up Questionnaires if required.

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