Running around the world for mental health

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(KTSF by Sean Au)

37 year old Wayne Cho has been diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar disorder. He had only discovered this seven years ago when he went back to school to get training to become a counselor. At the same time, he discovered running, which helps him relieve the symptoms of his illness.

Two years ago, he quitted his job and embarked on a solo run from Newfoundland in eastern Canada, ending in Victoria, British Colombia on the west coast, in an attempt to raise awareness about mental illness. He would partner with local mental health organizations to share his experience in overcoming his illness. “Before I started runing, I was afraid to talk to other people, especially strangers,” says Cho. “But now, I meet different people everyday. I’m enjoying talking to people now.”

From January, Wayne Cho started his second journey, this time from Vancouver, British Colombia, to Los Angeles in southern California, across the United States to New York, and onward to Europe, Asia and Australia, ending the journey in Sydney. Cho estimates that he will cover the 16,000-mile journey in three years.

Cho arrived in San Francisco on Sunday (April 1, 2012) and gave a talk in San Jose, organized by Asian Americans for Community Involvement. The AACI says Santa Clara County sees about 17,000 adults and 4,000 youths currently, for mental illnesses, of which 20% of the clients are Asian. The most frequent illnesses are depression and anxiety. The AACI suggests persons with symptoms of mental illness should seek professional help and not just rely on their family and friends.

“Sometimes family members do not know how to do it or where to go for services,” says Jorge Wong, Director of Behavioral Health Services, AACI. “And those who get stressed, friends and family get tired of you grieving or complaining about certain challenges that you have in your life.”

Viewers interested to know more about Wayne Cho’s quest can visit his website at www.loveworldrun.com

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

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