Syd Gravel is a former 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 and still working strong.

Syd is an over 28 year PTSD survivor and is in a healthy positive growth state as he has learned to live with P.T.S.D. and continue to be productive in spite of it. As an 8 year veteran and constable of the police service in 1987 he developed P.T.S.D. It was precipitated by his shooting of what he thought was an armed suspect during an armed robbery response, and discovered after the fact that the suspect was not armed after all. Learning to control and adjust his severe trauma reactions, he eventually went on to be promoted to the ranks of sergeant then staff sergeant during the following 23 years of his continued police work as a front line patrol officer and subsequently in charge of all recruitment and training for the last 10 years of his career.

During this entire time frame he volunteered hundreds of hours to assist anyone and everyone who needed a shoulder to lean on and an ear to bend, and so he became a peer supporter to many individuals throughout Canada.

In 2007, for the many years of service to his peers, his devotion to training and recruiting and helping so many through their times of need, he was nominated by his peers for the Order of Merit in Policing, Canada and he was inducted as a Member of the Order of Merit (M.O.M.) by Governor General Michael Jean.

Since his retirement he has been speaking publicly and advising and coaching many on the development of trauma and peer support systems, including the writing of his four books, “56 Seconds”, (2012)  “How to Survive P.T.S.D. and Build Peer Support” (2013) and “Workplace Diversity – How to Get It Right!”, (2014) and “Walk the Talk – A Boots on the Ground Peer and Trauma Support Systems Guide”, (2016).

In 2014, Syd developed the two-day peer training curriculum endorsed by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, now being offered throughout Canada, and is a Co-Lead for the National Peer and Trauma Support Systems (P.A.T.S.S.) Team. In 2016 he developed the curriculum for the Three-Day peer support training for the Transitions to Communities Project managed by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada and in 2016 he also developed the 20-hour on-line Trauma Management Course for Simon Fraser University.

As a volunteer, Syd is co-founder and a Director on the Board for Badge of Life Canada. He also volunteers as a member of the Neighbourhood Research Group for Crime Prevention Ottawa; member of the Board for Renfrew’s Community Assisted Living; and as a peer group facilitator for Homeless veterans through Soldiers Helping Soldiers.

In 2016 Syd was nominated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada as a Canadian Champion of Mental Health.

Syd has been lecturing and advising numerous organizations on trauma management and peer support since the 1990’s with numerous appearances on radio, television, newspapers and magazines and continues to do so.

Syd’s focus is geared towards preventative and pro-active approaches to trauma management within the workplace not only for members of the organizations but their family members as well.

Syd is passionate about the need to create change and is articulate, logical and full of anecdotal stories to help those who work with him to understand the value of what it is they are all trying to accomplish.

Syd can be reached either through his contact page

For more detailed information about Syd’s CV, it is available to those who request it through the contact page.