AMHERST - Getting your mind and body in motion is important for good physical and mental health. So why not go for a walk?
In recognition of Mental Health Week, a local group is encouraging everyone to do just that.
The second annual Minds in Motion walk will be held May 6, beginning at the back of Cumberland Mental Health office at 30 Prince Arthur St., and working its way through downtown and returning to the centre.
"Last year's event was such a great success that the organizing committee didn't hesitate to hold another walk," said Pam Chenhall, committee member and psychologist with Cumberland Mental Health Services.
Chenhall said last year's inaugural two-kilometre event included around 140 participants and she's hoping more people will take part this year.
"The purpose of the walk is to not only highlight the importance of Mental Health Week, but also the value of exercise in maintaining good mental health," she said. "It also emphasizes that walking is accessible to everyone, all you need is a pair of sneakers. It's also good to get out and enjoy some fresh air."
Chenhall said research has shown that walking is an essential part of the recovery from depression and for anxiety disorder management.
"What better way to get some exercise than to go for a walk," she said.
One of those who will be walking is committee member and client Carleen Slack.
"I didn't think I would make it last year, but I finished," said Slack, who said she's been training for this year's event. "I really enjoyed it and am ready for this year's."
The organizing committee is comprised of representatives from the Cumberland YMCA, the Cumberland Chapter of the Schizophrenia Society, Canadian Mental Health Association, Addiction Services and Cumberland Mental Health Services.
Registration is required for the event that kicks off in the parking lot. Onsite registration begins at 11:30 a.m., with the walk beginning at noon. The walk will be followed by lunch provided at 30 Prince Arthur St.
The walk is free, but free will donations will be accepted to help with the cost of lunch. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to get involved as a group and be recognized by bringing a banner or flag or wear matching T-shirts.
Mental Health Week runs from May 4-10 and is supported by the Canadian Mental Health Association. More information is available at www.cmha.ca.