CMHA Ontario’s Mood Walks program was featured on CBC radio this week as CMHA Elgin staff and program participants spoke to CBC Ontario Morning on the effectiveness of the program in their community. Participants in the program told CBC correspondent Kerry McKee that the nature walks coordinated by the program bring a sense of calm and focus to their day. Research indicates that a daily walk in nature can be as effective in treating mild cases of depression as taking an antidepressant. Mood Walks is an initiative of CMHA Ontario, in partnership with Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario, to provide training and support for community mental health organizations across the province to launch educational walking programs for older adults who experience mental health issues.
The success of the program continues to grow with the release of the latest issue of the Mood Walker newsletter. The August newsletter features tips on sun safety and hydration during warm summer walks, steps on how to leave no trace when out on a hike, and information on how to recognize individual bird calls in the forest. The newsletter also features news from the Mood Walks group at Homewood Health Centre.