About JMMF Ocean Therapy

The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation was established to honor Jimmy Miller, an incredible waterman who focused his life around the ocean and sharing his joy of surfing with as many people as possible. Learn more about Jimmy in this section of our website. In the summer of 2004, after a rapid onset of mental illness and a concurrent shoulder injury that kept him from surfing, Jimmy Miller committed suicide. We believe that if Jimmy would have been able to continue surfing, he would have won the battle against mental illness. That was and continues to be our driving force.

The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation continues his legacy of sharing the stoke of surfing and the therapeutic effects of the ocean. The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation first birthed the concept of Surf Therapy under the direction and concepting of Dr. Carly Rogers during her Master’s program in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. The program was devised and implemented in 2005 serving underprivileged and abused children in Los Angeles. The results were beyond remarkable. As one clinician stated, “These children have experienced such trauma that there are no positive memories for them to refer to. You have created positive memories for them that will serve them for a lifetime. You have inspired the very core of who they are and what they can accomplish”.

In 2007, JMMF expanded the concept of using the Ocean and Surfing as a Therapy protocol to help military members returning from conflicts in the Persian Gulf. After numerous and lengthy conversations with the Pentagon and military command at Camp Pendleton, the JMMF was invited to conduct a pilot program with the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West (WWB-W). Once again, the positive results of the pilot program were far beyond all expectations. The Command staff of the Wounded Warrior Battalion stated, “The change at the barracks is visceral. The Marines come back from (Ocean Therapy) sessions with actual smiles on their faces. This is something we have not been able to provide through traditional therapy.” The JMMF was enthusiastically invited back, and we now conduct, on average, two sessions per month with the Wounded Warrior Battalion – West at Camp Pendleton.

In the summer of 2007, JMMF created our Veteran program to reach those whose service may have ended but their adverse wartime experiences still traumatize them. In 2013, to further delineate our population groups and provide a “safe” therapeutic environment, we implemented our first female-only veteran sessions. We continue to offer 2-4 female-only sessions each summer.

Currently, JMMF coordinates 40-50 Ocean Therapy sessions each year between our Military Program (serving active duty military and veterans) and Youth Program. Ocean Therapy sessions are offered year-round and have historically served more than 500 active duty and veterans annually.

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