Sylvio (Syd) Gravel, M.O.M.

the story

About me

I am a former staff sergeant with thirty-one years of experience with the Ottawa Police Service. I am one of the founding fathers of Robin’s Blue Circle, a post-shooting trauma team of peers, established in 1988. I am a more than thirty-three-year PTSD survivor and have been a peer supporter since 1988. In 2007, I was nominated by my 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 and in 2020 I was invested into the Order of Ottawa.

Overview And Experience

Syd Gravel

Honored to be part of Badge of Life Canada

Since my retirement, I have devoted all my time and energy to speaking on developing resilience and resistance to trauma, trauma management and peer support systems. I have written and published “56 Seconds” and “How to Survive PTSD and Build Peer Support.” And now co-authored the book “Walk the Talk” with Staff Sergeant (ret’d) Brad McKay.

In 2014, I  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. I am currently co-leading the Peer and Trauma Support Systems (P.A.T.S.S.) Team for the Mood Disorders Society of Canada. I am also a volunteer peer facilitator for Soldiers Helping Soldiers in Ottawa. I have developed the content for the three-day peer training project – Transition to Communities for the Mood Disorders Society of Canada and am developing the content for a twenty-hour on-line trauma management course through Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. I  also proudly served as a senior police advisor for Badge of Life Canada from 2012 to now. In 2016, I  was nominated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada as a Canadian Champion of Mental Health.


A short description of the various therapist certifications in Ontario.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical Psychologists are required to complete a related Masters and Ph.D. program to practice in the province of Ontario that must be research-based and subsequently have a thesis component. They are governed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO).

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Registered Psychotherapists

Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) are registered by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and, like Registered Social Workers and Clinical Psychologists, are permitted to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy.

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Registered Social Workers

Registered Social Workers (RSW) are helping individuals to enhance their well-being. They are governed by the Ontario College of Social Workers.