At the end of the session for the first time you feel tired but in a good way, you sleep a full 8 hours without a pill, you feel excitement and happiness, you feel something for the first time in a long time. You realised you went out in a group activity without the need of alcohol, the anxiety and pressure of crowds quickly disappeared when you first hit the water. This is the feeling and effects of Ocean Therapy, it’s something Matt and Kieran experienced and needed to share it with their mates and the wider Veteran community. It doesn’t matter what service you were in, how long or how short your career was, how many deployments you did, whether you’re an experienced surfer or a beginner, there is always a place in AVS for you. The club can put its success down to the laid back and relaxed environment, there is no pressure, just you, the waves and a group of like-minded people.
We hope to work alongside Carly Rogers and the Jimmy Miller Foundation to bring a similar Ocean Therapy Program to Australia.
A study completed by Rogers, Mallinson and Peppers (2014, pp. 395-404) examined the effects of a surf-based occupational therapy intervention on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering PTSD, during their transition into civilian life. Participants reported clinically meaningful improvements in both PTSD symptom severity and depression symptoms.