Mood Walks is a provincewide initiative that promotes physical activity in nature, or “green exercise,” as a way to improve both physical and mental health. Led by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, in partnership with Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario, Mood Walks provides training and support for community mental health agencies, social service organizations and other community partners to launch educational hiking programs, connect with local resources, find volunteers, and explore nearby trails and green spaces.
Mood Walks is designed to encourage and support the mental and physical health of participants through exposure to the healing effects of nature, participation in physical activity and engagement with their community. Participants, such as those at risk of or experiencing mental health difficulties and social isolation, can benefit from participating in Mood Walks.
Walking/hiking is a fun and low-cost activity and research shows that being in nature has significant positive effects on both physical and mental health. Green exercise can alleviate primary symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as secondary symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Building life skills and developing a sense of self-efficacy are great ways to foster positive mental health. Group activities such as the Mood Walks program can promote social interaction and provide opportunities for peer support.
Community Partners & Volunteers
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