Pilot Projects

The Minding Our Bodies project developed a toolkit and one-day training session intended to aid organizations in planning and implementing a physical activity and healthy eating program for people with mental illness. These resources were piloted in 12 communities in Ontario during the first two phases of the Minding Our Bodies project (2008-2011).

Staff and volunteers from the pilot sites attended a one-day training session in Toronto (April 2009 in phase 1, and September 2010 in phase 2). The pilot organizations were then responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating new physical activity and healthy eating programs in their local communities. The purpose of the pilot phase was to assess the strengths of the Minding Our Bodies toolkit and training sessions and to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

The toolkit was publicly released in March 2010 and significantly revised in March 2011. New resources will continue to be added as they become available.

More than 40 physical activity and healthy eating programs, including those piloted by Minding Our Bodies, are showcased in the Program Directory and serve as examples for other organizations that want to launch their own initiatives.

Pilot Site Selection

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario thanks all of the organizations who submitted an application to become a Minding Our Bodies pilot site. We received more than 40 unique proposals to develop physical activity and healthy eating programs for people with mental illness. We were excited and encouraged to see many of those applicants reach out into their communities to create partnerships with other organizations for the benefit of the consumers they support.

In phase 1, three applicants were selected to receive seed funding of up to $7,500 to develop and deliver a physical activity program. We also invited three other organizations that applied for support to participate in the training and pilot program, but without funding from the Minding Our Bodies project. In phase 2, six applicants were funded (for amounts ranging from $2,500 to $5,500) to launch healthy eating programs. Together, these 12 organizations helped us to evaluate the effectiveness of the resources we created.

To ensure that the toolkit will be effective in addressing the barriers and needs of various organizations in both urban and rural settings, the pilot sites represented a diverse cross-section of service providers. They differed in geography, population served, and size and type of organization, as well as in their proposed programs.

See the project newsletter for brief profiles of the pilot programs:

See also the evaluation reports for in-depth case studies of the pilot programs:

Congratulations to all of the organizations who were selected to become Minding Our Bodies pilots!