The CMHA Toronto walking group provides opportunities for people with a mental illness to exercise and socialize. Currently, the group is led by consumers and the group meets once a week to walk in the area.
The group began in July 2009 as a part of a Consumer Participation Initiative. Initially, two staff supported the coordination of the group. Beyond walking with the participants, they helped recruit people from within the client pool of the Assertive Community Treatment team before opening up the group to the whole organization by promoting the activity on bulletin boards. Since May 2010, the group is entirely consumer-run.
One of the challenges is increasing attendance beyond the handful that attend regularly. A benefit of the core group of participants is that they know the area and each other well, so as a group they choose their own route to walk.
Staff have evaluated the planning process, and hope to continue tracking and evaluation when the number of participants increase.
For more information, contact:
Martin Davidek, Program Manager
CMHA Toronto Branch
mdavidek [at] cmha-toronto [dot] net