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Cop credits running for mental health during Wounded Warriors Nanaimo stop

2024 Wounded Warrior Run B.C.’s Daryl Baswick talks about healing effect of running
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Nathalie Butler, left, Yanna Hempler and Jacqueline Zweng, round Bowen Road onto East Wellington Road as Wounded Warriors Run B.C. made a stop in Nanaimo March 1. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

A Vancouver Island police officer taking part in a fundraising tour, that raises awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder, finds solace in running.

Wounded Warrior Run B.C. sees a team, that includes first responders and members of the Armed Forces, traversing north to south Vancouver Island. At a tour stop in Nanaimo Friday, March 1, Daryl Baswick, a Victoria Police Department member, spoke of the therapeutic nature of running.

Baswick’s 24-year policing career is drawing to a close, and he feels fortunate that he’s leaving with reasonable physical and mental health. Running has always been a key part of his life, he said.

“Running benefits us physically and mentally and those two are so connected,” Baswick told the News Bulletin. “The link between mind and body is so profound and so strong … to be outside, to get fresh air. I look over my shoulder here and see beautiful mountains with snow on them and a cloud drifting across, a bit of sun and it is so powerful.”

Baswick thinks more and more people are becoming aware of PTSD, unlike when his policing career began. There wasn’t much known about exposure, nor was there much followup to critical incidents, he said.

“There’s so much knowledge now about the physical impact the traumatic incidents and critical incidents can have on a person, on their brain, and how it affects a person physically and how PTSD can result from that,” Baswick said. “Some of the great things that are possible now is recognizing if that’s the case, intervening early (helps). In my organization, we have a critical incidence risk management team, we have peer support.”

A target of $250,000 has been set and as of March 2, close to $116,000 has been raised, according to Jacqueline Zweng, director of Wounded Warrior Run B.C. and people can do more than just donate.

“We’ve asked people for a couple of calls to action this year,” said Zweng. “Go to www.woundedwarrior.ca, check out a program, take five minutes to learn a little bit about it because you might help somebody else if you’ve been armed with that knowledge to be able to support a first responder or a serving member.”

The team left Nanaimo the morning of Saturday, March 2 and will conclude Sunday, March 3 in Victoria.

For more information, including to donate, go to https://woundedwarriorrunbc.ca/.

RELATED: Wounded Warrior Run makes tracks down Island

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Daryl Baswick, participant of Wounded Warriors Run B.C. in 2024, has found running therapeutic. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)


Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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