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How SCUBA diving can be therapeutic for military veterans

Posted at 7:37 PM, Mar 28, 2024

GREAT FALLS — A new chapter of the Underwater Soldiers non-profit group has recently begun operation in Great Falls and aims to help military veterans with mental health issues.

While traditional therapy methods can certainly be effective, alternative resources such as therapy diving have been shown to be a viable option.



Tim McCulloch, an Army veteran, explained how it impacts him: “It's peaceful. And that's just something that a lot of veterans don’t get. If it's not like the outside world messing with us, it's our heads. So down there, the only thing you think about is the water and breathing.”

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Montana veteran suicide rate for 2021 of 37.4 per 100,000 deaths is more than double the national average of 18.

Underwater Therapy is currently taking place at the Great Falls High School pool every other Tuesday evening, but the organization plans to move to the new aquatics facility being built in town after it opens this summer.

Underwater Soldiers is also planning several "clean-up dives" in various watersheds around Montana this summer as a way to help the community. Please consult with Tami Lukas, the organization president, for a full schedule of dive and cleanup sessions.

For more information, click here to check out the Underwater Soldiers website, or call 406-217-4416.

And if you've ever wondered where the term SCUBA comes from - it's an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.