Policy makers, people with lived experience of mental health issues, and staff from community mental health agencies recently came together for a one-day knowledge exchange and networking summit hosted by CMHA Ontario’s Mood Walks initiative. The goal of the summit was to share the exciting strides taken by the program over the past year and discuss new ways to support mental wellness through the “green lift” of nature-related programs.
More than 20 mental health agencies participated in the Mood Walks program in 2014, which provides training and support for community mental health organizations across Ontario to launch educational walking programs for people who experience mental health issues.
Scott Mitchell, CMHA Ontario’s director of knowledge transfer, shared highlights of the program at the summit, which included 896 hours of walking by participants.
Mood Walks program manager Andrea Town also shared some of evaluation results from last year’s program, which were positive overall.
Participants who initially presented with lower overall mental well-being experienced the greatest benefits from the program, and many of the program leaders expressed how the program helped them to get to know their mental health clients better.
A full report summarizing Mood Walks planning, implementation and outcomes is now available on the program website.
CTV Toronto health reporter Pauline Chan was also at the event and interviewed Mood Walks participants and partners about their experiences. Check out the full interview on the CTV Toronto website.