CES Spotlight blog posts shine a light on youth sector programs and initiatives in Ontario that are undertaking an evaluation journey in collaboration with YouthREX’s Customized Evaluation Supports (CES) at one of our regional hubs across Ontario. The blog posts describe the programs and initiatives and how evaluation supports their objectives to improve youth wellbeing.

In September 2015, the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario’s Mood Walks Program began an evaluation journey with our Central Hub through our Customized Evaluation Supports (CES) program.

Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario
Mood Walks for Youth in Transition

All Youth
Youth at risk of or experiencing mental health issues

Health & Wellness

– Diversity, Social Inclusion & Safety

September 30, 2015

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This province-wide initiative promotes “green exercise” (physical activity in nature) by collaborating with 41 community partners – keep reading this spotlight to learn more about the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario and their evaluation journey!

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division, is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to making mental health possible for all.

CMHA Ontario is a dedicated partner within the network of Canadian Mental Health Associations at the national, provincial and local level. CMHA Ontario works closely with its 31 local branches in communities across the province to ensure the utilization of best practices in the organization, management and delivery of services to consumers and families of individuals with mental illness, dual diagnosis and concurrent disorders.

Mood Walks for Youth in Transition is a provincial initiative in partnership with Hike Ontario and Conservation Ontario, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Sport. Mood Walks is currently providing training and support to 41 community mental health organizations across Ontario to launch educational walking programs for youth who are at risk of, or are experiencing, mental health issues.

“The Mood Walks group has helped me to feel healthier, more energetic and more at peace with myself. I feel less angry, less stressed and more relaxed after the hikes.”

– Mood Walks Youth Participant

Mood Walks provides training opportunities in hiking skills, youth engagement, and evaluation. They connect participating agencies with local volunteers, community partners, and resources to aid in launching sustainable Mood Walk groups.

“We want both the evaluation process as well as the outcomes to be meaningful to the participating youth, program leaders, and organizations. By allowing for customization and flexibility in the tools being used, we hope to build long-term evaluation capacity within each individual Mood Walks group.”

– Jasmine Ferreira, Project Manager

Why Customized Evaluation Supports? 

Mood Walks would like to see clients engaged throughout the evaluation process, with opportunities to share what might be important for them to measure. They want to ask the question, “What would success look like for you if you joined this hiking group?”

YouthREX supported Mood Walks with evaluation activities related to our Action Phase, Step 4 – Data Collection, of our Framework for Evaluating Youth Wellbeing.

“We encourage participating agencies to engage youth at the very beginning, in planning their program and deciding what outcomes to measure.”

– Jasmine Ferreira, Project Manager

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