Sylvio (Syd) Gravel


Syd Gravel is a former staff sergeant with thirty-one years of experience with the Ottawa Police Service.

He is one of the founding fathers of Robin’s Blue Circle, a post-shooting trauma team of peers, established in 1988.

Syd is a more than twenty-nine-year PTSD survivor and has been a peer supporter since 1988.

In 2007, he was nominated by his peers and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and inducted by the Governor General of Canada for the Order of Merit in Policing, Canada.

Since his retirement, he has devoted all his time and energy to speaking on developing resilience and resistence to trauma, trauma management and peer support systems.

He has written and published “56 Seconds” and “How to Survive PTSD and Build Peer Support” and has now co-authored the book “Walk the Talk" with Staff Sergeant (ret’d) Brad McKay.

In 2014, Syd developed a trail-blazing curriculum for the training of peers in Canada, based on the guidelines and practices for the selection and training of peers developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Syd is currently co-leading the Peer and Trauma Support Systems (P.A.T.S.S.) Team for the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

He is also a volunteer peer facilitator for Soldiers Helping Soldiers in Ottawa.

He has developed the content for the three-day peer training project – Transition to Communities for the Mood Disorders Society of Canada and is developing the content for a twenty hour on-line trauma management course through Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Syd also proudly serves as a senior police advisor for Badge of Life Canada.