Searching for Sero is a mental wellness project created by professional photographer, John Rathwell and writer, Tracy Guenard. Sero being short for serotonin– the chemical believed to contribute to the feeling of happiness. The photo project shares the stories of people who are passionate about outdoor adventure as the key to happiness, well-being and balance in their lives. We call them Sero Stories!

The Plan:

Spring 2016, John and Tracy embarked on a journey across North-America in their 1991 Westfalia camper van to find and share the most inspiring Sero Stories.

Route Plan

The Goal:

We want to shine some light on mental wellness and suicide prevention. If we can motivate just one person to seek help and begin their journey down the road to recovery, the project will be a success. Suicide has more than one victim. Friends and family also suffer when one chooses to take their own life. So let’s talk about it. Let’s make the changes we need in our lives to be mentally well.

Once the project has ended, a selection of our best stories and photos will be collected in a coffee table book in hopes that the conversation about mental wellness will continue on. Proceeds from book sales will be donated to mental health awareness and suicide prevention charities.



Phase 1 – Spring 2015 to Spring 2016: During the pre-production year, we published preview Sero Stories, took care of project planning and logistics, van restoration and secured funding and sponsorship.

Phase 2 – Spring 2016 to Spring 2018: The road phase. During spring 2016 to spring 2017, we are working our way across Canada from east to west publishing one Sero Story per week (total of 52/year). The following year we are spending time in the USA completing another year worth of stories. During the road years are also blogging about our own adventures.

Phase 3 – Spring 2018 to Spring 2019: Once phase 2 has ended we will go straight into book planning, production and sales. The proceeds from book sales will be donated to charities working in suicide prevention.

The Impact:

Inspiration, because we hope that people who will follow our adventures and stories will be inspired to go out and create their own adventure.

Happiness, because we believe the adventures you go on will bring that to your life, just like it does for us and all our subjects.

Mental wellness and suicide prevention because we think prevention is the best way to ensure the health of your body, mind and soul, and that we can play an active role in our own mental wellness by going outside and doing what brings joy to our lives!

So go on, read our Sero Stories, share them, influence others to take that route,
get out, play and tag your adventures with #FoundSero and be a Sero ambassador

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