Hero SCUBA Group aims to reduce side effects of PTSD suffered by veterans and first responders via scuba diving

The Hero SCUBA Group (HSG) is a 501(c)(3) organization in San Antonio, TX founded by four Veterans suffering from PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and injures suffered during deployments. HSG works to reduce the side effects of PTSD, anxiety, trauma and injuries suffered by Veterans and First Responders via scuba diving, group therapy and aquatic conservation outings.

John Hopkins University has completed trials researching the benefits of scuba diving to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and spinal cord injuries in Heroes. The University’s 2014 trial showed a 15% increase in motor functioning in spinal cord patients and alleviated PTSD symptoms by 80% in patients after the scuba diving therapy. This trial validates scuba diving as a beneficial therapy for victims of PTSD and injuries, http://www.diveheart.org/john-hopkins-research-on-scuba-therapy/.

HSG partners with Counselors and Church Pastors to provide group counseling to Veterans, First Responders to heal those suffering from these afflictions. Faith based counseling has the highest echelons of the executive branch support in deterring Veteran and First Responder suicide. In President Trump’s executive order on ending veteran suicide, he called for the inclusion of faith-based organizations.

Operation Neptune’s Guardians – “Protecting and Preserving”: Heroes are ingrained to work together to accomplish a mission and many have a hard time not having a mission when they leave jobs of serving others. What better mission to work on than preserving endangered fresh and salt water ecosystems from extinction.

Here is a list of activities the Group will support:

Project Aware. Supports divers acting in their own communities to protect the ocean, with a focus on implementing lasting change in two core areas: shark conservation and marine litter.

Coral Farming. 90% of Staghorn and Elkhorn coral has been lost on US and Caribbean Coral reefs. The Group will actively participate in restoring the coral reef system, helping to create and maintain offshore coral nurseries and performing other restoration techniques.

Lion Fish Mitigation. Their introduction is believed to be a result of hurricanes and tank releases during the early 1990’s. Lionfish are voracious carnivores that consume many other indigenous fish species and, if left unchecked, can kill three-quarters of a reef's fish population.

Sea Turtle Conservation. The protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. The Group will use research, habitat protection, and public education to achieve this goal. Research and monitoring activities while snorkeling or diving contribute to these conservation efforts.

Monitoring of Coral Bleaching. A single coral colony is made up of numerous individual coral polyps. Corals depend on an alga inside their tissue to provide them with food and oxygen. The alga is what colors the coral. When coral is stressed either by pollution, increased sea temperatures, low oxygen or disease, the coral loses its algae partner and the coral turns white. This is called coral beaching.

For additional information, contact: Karl Whiteman, Co-Founder Hero SCUBA Group, heroscubagroup@gmail.com or visit their website www.heroscubagroup.org

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