Mood Walks for Youth in Transition

Mood Walks for Youth in Transition is an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, in partnership with Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Mood Walks for Youth in Transition builds capacity for community-based social service agencies in Ontario to plan, implement and evaluate hiking groups for youth at risk of, or experiencing, mental health disabilities. The program encourages and supports young people to become more physically active and to benefit from exposure to the healing effects of nature. 

Research evidence shows that being physically active can have significant positive effects in preventing chronic physical conditions and supporting recovery from mental illness. Living a healthy lifestyle can alleviate primary symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as secondary symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. The mental health benefits of active living extend far beyond physiological effects of exercise. Building life skills and developing a sense of self-efficacy are effective ways to support recovery from mental illness. Group activities such as walking clubs, promote social interaction and provide opportunities for peer support. Hiking is a fun and low-cost activity with huge benefits to both physical and mental health. 

Mood Walks for Youth in Transition promotes both physical and mental health by reducing barriers and creating new opportunities for youth (15-30) to be physically active. Participating groups were encouraged to partner with their local Hike Ontario hiking club or trail organization, as well as their local Conservation Authority or green spaces. Program leaders led group walks on local hiking trails and at Conservation Areas.

Mood Walks program schedule:

No programs are currently available. Check back soon for our fall program availability.


Download the Mood Walks for Youth in Transition manual

For more information, contact [email protected].

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