Ocean therapy, or surf therapy, heals,” says Nancy Miller, co-founder of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation (JMMF) based in Southern California. “It heals your mind, your body and your soul.”
The foundation is named in honor of Nancy’s son, a waterman who taught thousands to surf through his camp, Pure Surfing Experience, and after a short battle with mental illness, took his own life. JMMF started ocean therapy as an adaptive surfing program to assist individuals coping with mental, emotional and physical illnesses by accessing the ocean environment.
“The ocean is a potentially chaotic environment,” says JMMF Program Director Kevin Sousa, “but once you learn how to be in it, it offers a lot of safely and a lot of power and a lot of force.”
In November 2020, JMMF hosted an ocean therapy session at Camp Pendleton for the Wounded Warrior Battalion. One of JMMF’s partners, Givebox, a nonprofit fundraising platform, documented the experience in this moving film, Tools for Change: The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation.
“I think one of the biggest travesties in our country is that we don’t look after our veterans,” shares Givebox CEO & Founder Joshua Rowley. “When I see an organization like JMMF and the work they do for them, I really can’t think of a better word than inspirational.”
For more on The Jimmy Miller Foundation, visit www.jimmymillerfoundation.org.