A Program Manual for Educational Walking Groups to Promote Mental Health

Mood Walks provides training and support for postsecondary institutions across the province to launch educational walking programs for students at risk of or experiencing mental health issues. The program is also designed to encourage and support students (age 17-29) – including newcomers students who may be experiencing additional stress due to settlement changes and social exclusion – to be physically active, to engage with their community, and to benefit from exposure to healing effects of nature. Participating campuses will run a walking group for at least 10 weeks, with 8-12 participants.

The manual provides a framework for planning, implementing, and evaluating your Mood Walks groups, along with practical strategies and tools that can be tailored to meet your campus needs and goals. There is information about how to overcome challenges, spark enthusiasm among participants, and maintain motivation. Our objective is to provide practical information about how to facilitate a Mood Walks group; however, much of this information applies when facilitating other physical activity groups in mental health services as well. This manual will be developed into a general guide for postsecondary institutions who want to implement walking groups, so your feedback is important! Please email info@moodwalks.ca to provide your comments or suggestions.

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