Read what others have been saying about
Syd's book and speaking engagements:
"How to Survive PTSD and Build Peer Support is an excellent book by someone who has been there."
"You did such amazing work with this book. I have read it twice and know I will read it again. I have told as many people as who would stand still long enough about it. I thank you for the path you have forged for us all. I could never find words to express what your courage has meant to so many lives."
"Excellent New Book..."
"Syd is an amazing expert/survivor in the area of PTSD. He is an excellent public speaker who can allow any audience to understand this very complex issue. I highly recommend him."
"Entertaining, engaging, heartfelt and demonstrative! That is a good start to describing how Syd Gravel interacts with students. Syd's session to the Justice Studies cluster of Programs at Mohawk College was fantastic."
"Syd gave an excellent presentation that I attended. He provided clear information on PTSD and why university/college departments of university safety need to be aware of the issue in their departments. Syd speaks from the heart and is honest, informative and engaging. I highly recommend him as a speaker."
"In 1987, Syd was involved in a very traumatic incident in which a robbery suspect lost his life. The event deeply affected Syd. To his credit he helped develop a comprehensive Police Service Peer Support Network on dealing with PTSD. It is Syd's legacy to the Ottawa Police."
"56 Seconds is a must read for officers, their families and close colleagues to help them deal with the trauma from a police shooting."
"The learning experience for us and our students was immense! Your story is commanding and impactful and your style of delivery very, very engaging. Thank you sincerely for your Mohawk trip and for sharing your story to guide others."
"In his speech, Syd displays an innate desire to do all that he can, to ensure that this and future generations of police officers will be better prepared individually and collectively, to contend with the rigors of cumulative and critical trauma, that they will inevitably face during a police career."
"He had members of the audience hanging on his words. There were those who shed tears of empathy as well. Through this, many began to see policing with a new awareness, provided by an experienced, respected and valued officer (recently retired). I have since heard many accolades about this presentation from members of the audience."
"Syd Gravel is a captivating speaker, who engages his audience with his powerful and inspiring story. His work in '56 Seconds' will also serve as an important reference guide for organizations preparing to help their members help each other."
"Great presentation. One could have heard a pin drop during your talk."
"You were the best speaker yet! I learned a lot about what it means to be a police officer faced with such a difficult decision and the personal cost. We all really appreciated that you came to speak to us."
In his first book as a 31 year veteran of the Ottawa Police Service, Syd tells the gripping real life story of how his life took a dramatic turn in just 56 Seconds.
He shares how he survived post-traumatic stress, as a two-time shootist, during his years of work as a front line police officer. In his book, "56 Seconds" he reveals the secrets to his healthy survival based on a solid foundation of peer support, friends, family and medical practitioners.
For deeper insights into his experiences and lessons on his road to recovery from post-traumatic stress, 56 Seconds is a must read.
In this revised edition, there are 25 teaching or discussion points for police and emergency services recruiters, trainers and college/university professors who prepare people to work in police and emergency services and other trauma-related environments. This book provides insightful techniques to address the correlation between recruiting and new recruit-training practices, and the ability of employees and organizations to address trauma within the workplace, as well as build peer support.
These techniques were acquired over 10 years of recruiting and training, when Syd was the officer-in-charge, and 22 years as a PTSD survivor. As a bonus, this edition includes comprehensive information, written and previously published by Dr. Anna B. Baranowsky, clinical psychologist and CEO of the Traumatology Institute; and Teresa Lauer, LMHC from their work entitled “What is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma”. As an added bonus, this edition also discusses whether survivor experience and certification is required for peers.
In August of 2012, Syd Gravel was featured on CBC Radio where he spoke about his vivid experiences as a front line police officer.
In August of 2013, Syd Gravel was featured on CBC Radio's The House, where he spoke about his experiences as a front line police officer involved in a traumatic event.
In October of 2013, Syd Gravel was featured on CBC Radio's The National, where he spoke about police officers' use of force and life-and-death decisions. Click here to listen.
Thursday, October 17th
Syd will be featured on CBC Television's The National at 10:00 pm EST as part of a segment titled In the Moment:
"With the recent police shooting of a Toronto teenager Sammy Yatim, we look at what happens emotionally and physiologically to officers when they feel threatened." — CBC
For more information, please visit: http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/
November 18, 2013
Syd will be presenting to the Families and Friends of Trauma Survivors at the York Regional Police Force.
For more information, please visit: http://www.yrp.ca/homepage.aspx
August 29, 2013
Syd will be facilitating a workshop titled Surviving PTSD and Building Peer Support within Emergency Work Environments. Based on his real-life experiences, this workshop will take place at the Ontario Association of Police Educators 2013 Conference located at the Ontario Police College.
For more information, please visit: http://www.oape.org/conference.htm
May 14, 2013
Syd will be the keynote speaker for the Ontario Association of Colleges and Universities Security Administrator's Conference in Ottawa. The title of the keynote presentation is Peer Support for Trauma in Emergency Work Environments.
For more information, please visit: http://oacusa.ca/?page_id=736
Syd Gravel is a retired Staff Sergeant from the Ottawa Police Service and is one of the founding fathers of Robin's Blue Circle, A post-shooting trauma team that assists officers work their way through the trauma of death or near-death work related incidents first established in 1988. He has personally assisted over 40 officers survive near-death incidents over a period of 12 years.
As a Speaker and Workshop Facilitator Syd shares insight & training points to address building resilience and resistance to trauma in the workplace by addressing:
1. The “Fog of Ignorance”;
2. How competencies can leave people struggling on the job;
3. How personality traits influence peer support capability;
4. How perceptions can interfere with the ability to stay grounded;
5. How we allow the “Breach of Contract”;
6. The responsibility of authority;
7. The value of the voluntary mental health check;
8. 5 key questions in relation to management of trauma and PTSD;
9. Whether certification/experience is necessary for peer work;
10. What training is right for your organization.