Dr. Mia Wintheiser, MD

Mia started her career as an ELL teacher in the St. Paul schools. She went on to the University of Minnesota Medical School and trained at HCMC and Regions Hospital. Mia currently practices community psychiatry in St. Paul.

Mia has certifications in CPR and wilderness first aid. She is trauma-informed and strives to be culturally competent. Dr. Wintheiser warmly welcomes people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities. She is an ally of the LGBTQ community. Walks take place on the homelands of the Anishinaabe and Lakota peoples so every walk begins with a land acknowledgement of these original land tenders.

Why did I become a Forest Therapy Guide?

During the pandemic, I saw medical workers, social workers, teachers, police officers, EMS, firefighters, and others working in demanding and exhausting conditions. Burnout, depression, anxiety, and compassion fatigue are widespread.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, we witnessed the murder of George Floyd and the Uprising that followed. The trauma of racial injustice runs deep. It will take years to heal these wounds and rebuild our communities.

Children and teens were painfully isolated during the pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns of schools, sports, and social activities. Before the pandemic, kids’ social media and online gaming habits were excessive. The negative consequences for our youth’s mental and physical health are becoming more and more evident.

Climate change threatens the way people and the natural world thrive and survive together. How can we empower ourselves and our communities to take on such a tremendous challenge?

The answer is in the woods.

“I’m a teacher and the past few years, I’ve felt like giving up. My sister died suddenly and when we had to do online teaching…It just sucked the joy out of everything I loved about my job. This experience gave me joy and comfort. I felt the presence of my sister, and I feel hopeful I’ll come out of this hardship a lot stronger.”

-- Participant of a Professional Development Walk

Forest Therapy is Accessible for All

No one should face financial barriers to experiencing forest therapy. I am committed to making forest therapy walks accessible to all people.  If you live with an illness such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder or need financial assistance to participate in a walk, don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

How can we empower ourselves to meet the challenges we face?

Forest Walks are one way to become more resilient and feel energized to take on the challenges of climate change and social injustice.