Post Traumatic Stress Awareness


This is a call to action to support and provide vital education and awareness for ALL Emergency Service officers, First Responders and Frontline organisations (Police, Fire, Ambulance, Military, SES, RFS, VRA, Corrective Services, Doctors, Nurses, Surf Life Saving) and their families that are, or may be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) as a result of their duties serving and protecting the community.

This impacts directly someone you love very much - family and friends. Even if you think it doesn't.

Post Traumatic Stress is a major psychological condition that continues to end the careers, relationships and futures of thousands of Australian Emergency Service officers every year. Unfortunately, some officers become so lost and desperate that they suicide as a result of being diagnosed with PTS - without hope, support or education.

Now is the time for action - to raise awareness and protect those who swore to protect us. This is something that has to be done. This is something that I have to do.

My name is Jeff Garland and I'm a retired Senior Sergeant from the NSW Police Force. I was a proud serving member for nearly 16 years until I was medically discharged with Post Traumatic Stress in October 2011.

I know what it is like to battle with Post Traumatic Stress, suffer severe flashbacks, to lose my dream career, to struggle with my identity, watch it affect my relationship with my wife and kids and to have had thoughts of suicide.

I also know what it is like to make the decision to take control of my life, to educate myself about the condition and to FULLY recover from Post Traumatic Stress - so it is my purpose, my passion and my duty to share my experiences with those that will serve, are serving and have served, those that are suffering and struggling, as well as their families - to give them hope, direction and inspiration - to save their careers, their relationships, and ultimately, their lives.

I've had meetings with Emergency Service organisations, Ministers and politicians of all levels of government and even published my first book, Split Second (, about my experiences to proffer an insight into life behind the thin blue line and living with Post Traumatic Stress, close to finishing my next book, and have been a strong advocate for education and awareness since 2014. All with limited or no success.

But that doesn't mean I give up. That just means I have to step up and do what needs to be done - myself.

I was first diagnosed with PTS in August 2001 shortly after an incident involving a stolen ute in Redfern.

And like so many serving and retired officers I had no idea what Post Traumatic Stress was, until it was too late. There was no information about it, no warnings, no education or support, no awareness – for me or my family. I was on my own fighting a battle with something that was consuming my life, and that I knew nothing about.

Looking back I can see that I had some signs and symptoms leading up to the incident with the Ute, from some of my earlier endeavours, but its hard to recognise what you aren’t aware of – and even harder to acknowledge what you don’t know.

 But unlike so many – I did the ‘unpolice like’ and ‘unbloke like’ thing – I went against the cultural expectation of ‘getting over it and getting on with it’ and did what was best for me and my family. I admitted I wasn’t coping, reached out for help and GOT IT.

And as hard as that was – it was the best decision of my life. Because of that decision I was able to return to work for another 10 years:
•was promoted to Senior Sergeant;
•worked as a Police Prosecutor prosecuting some lengthy and complex matters in over 30 courts around NSW;
•Finished my law degree;
•Broke 3 Guinness World Records;
•Published my first book, Split Second;
•Was a loving and supportive father and husband, as well as a,
•Competent, professional and decorated police officer
I’m not saying that to impress you, but impress upon you, that if I can do it – then so can anyone. I am no different to anyone else. I just made a conscious decision and some distinctions that allowed me to change the meaning of the incidents I was involved in, change my focus to the positive aspects of my career and take control of my life by being pro-active in my own recovery.

Because of that decision and the actions that I took I am now fully recovered from Post Traumatic Stress – no signs or symptoms – no flashbacks – nothing – and for those of you that know me, or have read my book Split Second, know that I am easily and openly able to speak about my experiences in detail, without hesitation or regret.

Although my experiences relate to my policing career – they are not unique. Post Traumatic Stress can affect anyone, anywhere and at anytime – but most profoundly upon those serving in the emergency services, military, frontline or first responder organisations – and so my experiences, my learnings and my advice is just as universally applicable to those serving or retired from those organisations and their families.

The biggest issue is, however, the continued lack of education and awareness about Post Traumatic Stress, as well as what treatment, support and strategies options are available.

That is why I am undertaking the 'Triple Zero Trauma' tour around NSW during October and November 2017, in which I will be sharing my experiences, skills and strategies by speaking at 18 different locations around NSW to raise awareness, education and support about how to Prevent, Manage and Recover from Post Traumatic

The proposed dates and locations for the ‘Triple Zero Trauma Tour’ are:
Tuesday October 24th: Terrigal Surf Club
Wednesday October 25th: Doyalson/Wyee RSL Club (AM)
Wednesday October 25th: Mingara Rec Club (PM)
Thursday October 26th: Newcastle PCYC
Friday October 27th: Eastern Suburbs PCYC
Sunday October 30th: Cabramatta PCYC
Monday October 30th: Cronulla PCYC
Tuesday October 31st: Hornsby PCYC
Wednesday November 1st: Coffs Harbour PCYC
Friday November 3rd: Lake Illawarra PCYC
Sunday November 5th: Port Macquarie SLSC (TBC)
Monday November 6th: Tweed Heads PCYC (TBC)
Tuesday November 7th: Lismore PCYC
Wednesday November 8th: Tamworth PCYC
Thursday November 9th: Dubbo PCYC
Friday November 10th: Bathurst PCYC
Monday November 13th: Wagga Wagga PCYC
Tuesday November 14th: Albury PCYC
Wednesday November 15th: Goulburn PCYC (TBC)

So I am asking for your help, please. These brave and courageous officers are not getting the education, awareness or support that they deserve. Every shift they risk their lives to keep them safe, now it's our turn to help them when they so desperately need it.

In order for to achieve this goal I need to raise $5,000 through GoFundMe that will allow me to travel around NSW, cover the costs of petrol, food, accomodation, books and other costs incidental to the tour, including marketing and equipment, so that the Tour, and the message, is successful.

Please help me help others by making a donation so that I can spend my time and share my experiences to help make a difference in their lives, and prove to them that they are not alone, that we as a community understand and care enough to help, that they are not defined by their condition and with the right education, awareness, support, treatment and strategies there is hope to prevent, manage and recover from Post Traumatic Stress.

I am very passionate about this tour, this issue and about helping these courageous and selfless officers and their families. But I need your help to do that.

This is my purpose. Thank you so much for your support. Please share and donate as much as you can (any amount is appreciated).

As the tour is fast approaching (Tuesday 0ctober 24th, 2017) the funds are urgently needed to allow time to withdraw the money and make bookings etc.

I am grateful for your donations and for your support.


Jeff Garland
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Jeff Garland 
Ravensdale NSW
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