Swim Strong Dives In to Combat PTSD

The local Swim Strong Foundation, founded by former St. Sebastian, Woodside, CYO swimming coach Shawn Slevin, has begun a program to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The condition is often experienced by veterans as a result of witnessing violent acts that can have a deep and lasting emotional impact. Swimming fosters safety for these veterans by sending signals to the brain to decrease the sense of threat and danger.

Improve Self-Esteem, Stamina

The program seeks to use swimming as a means for veterans experiencing PTSD to improve self-esteem and self-confidence; improve strength, stamina and endurance; increase energy level; improve mood through the release of endorphins; help overall health including weight loss; and help develop focus and discipline.

The goal is for the repetitive nature of swimming to distract a veteran from painful memories or worries to give them a break from those difficult emotions.

For more information on the program, which can be tailored to individuals, or the foundation itself, visit