Mr Simon Gillard.
Simon was a NSW Police Officer for 16 years before being invalided out of the force with Complex PTSD. He attained the rank of Detective Sergeant investigating major crime throughout Sydney. Simon systemically formed depression and an identity crisis, losing the career he loved, and saw as his life-long profession.
Having had a number of suicide attempts when he fell into complete darkness - a tunnel of internal loneliness, grief and hopelessness. At those rock bottom times he was not cognitive to rationalize that ending his life would be the worst thing he could have done, only seeing it as a way to end his deep pain and the pain of his family. When cognitive he knows suicide is not the answer or an option. He holds on to that belief and won’t ever let it go... life can be good again after any storm! He shares this crucial knowledge to save lives and empower others.
In 2015, Simon found his meaning, passion and purpose again. This was to move forward with strength and resilience to help himself, to help others. The same reason why he joined the NSW Police Force at 19 years of age.
He has presented to thousands over the country at many varied events, including Keynotes, conferences, corporate, schools, universities, fundraiser events and similar. Sharing his lived experience and research for PTSD, depression, anxiety, identity crisis, culture change, stigma movement, suicide prevention, addiction and the importance of early intervention. He provides the important messages of hope, resilience and recovery to ultimately inspire, educate and save lives.
Simon knows via his lived experience that being alive is an amazing gift and we can recover after adversity. It’s completely ok to not be ok and, reaching out for help and talking is an undeniable brave and courageous act that we can all do. ‘Keep moving forward & Never Give Up’.
Simon presents his messages and research to all within the community. He encourages help seeking and hope to those who have a mental health condition and to educate and assist family and friends. He has received commendations from industry professionals and hundreds of emails and communication where he has positively affected and changed people’s lives in Australia and across the world.
Simon is a bestselling author, his first book, ’Life Sentence - A Police Officers Battle with PTSD’ was published by Penquin Random House - May 2017.
Simon is also a mental health and addiction advisor to the ‘Primary Health Network’ (PHN), Ambassador for ‘R U Ok?’ & ‘Australian Rotary Health’. He is a volunteer speaker and presenter for ‘beyondblue’ and the ‘Blackdog Institute’. He has been featured in many different forms of media, such as television interviews, a Canadian Documentary on PTSD, radio, magazines, newspapers and worldwide podcasts to share his key messages.
Simon’s other interests include rugby league, rugby union, boxing, landscaping and building, the beach and ocean, socialising with friends and spending time with his family experiencing new adventures, travel and culture.