Bruno Guévremont: Journey of a Veteran
Bruno Guévremont is a Veteran, Entrepreneur, North Pole Explorer, and Invictus Games Ambassador – among many other things. He’s led a team of soldiers, was captain of Team Canada at the 2016 Invictus Games and is now dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of the Veteran and Emergency services community.
Bruno himself is no stranger to the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mental illness. After 15 years and two tours in Afghanistan, the difficult realities of military service took its toll. Bruno was part of an anti-explosives team in Afghanistan; a busy outfit that dealt with more than 100 improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Following his release from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2014, Bruno had to find ways to recover and heal from his injuries. In 2014, Bruno participated in a challenging expedition in the North Pole with the True Patriot Love Foundation, a Canadian charity that honors the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families. This grueling expedition shed light on the mental health challenges that veterans face transitioning back into civilian life. This transformed Bruno’s outlook on life and left him inspired to do more to advance mental health awareness.
Bruno’s passion and openness has earned him a reputation for being a true instigator of progress when it comes to promoting mental health awareness.
We recently sat down with Bruno and asked him to share a few thoughts on his journey.
Why do you share your story?
Bruno: It is very important to me that we reach out to the people who need to hear that they are not alone. There is no need to suffer in silence. It’s absolutely ok to have mental health issues, and that by accepting that it’s ok, we can help them deal with it and find ways to make their life a little bit better, one day at a time.
What support helped you overcome your toughest years?
Bruno: Friends and family; the incredible support of organizations like The True Patriot Love Foundation, that help ill and injured soldiers get back on their feet and achieve their goals.
What’s the one message you hope to express to others struggling with mental health issues?
Bruno: The main message? That you are not alone. Reach out and let’s talk.
Where do you seek your greatest inspiration from?
Bruno: From people who have been there before. I am inspired by people’s stories about overcoming their struggle with mental health and how they were able to come through on the other side. I was especially inspired by Howie Mandel and Michael Landsberg who decided to lead the awareness.
How has being involved with the Invictus Games as an athlete and Team Captain had on your mental health or outlook?
Bruno: At first it was overwhelming. The thought of “who am I to lead others to the games when I can barely get there myself”. But we did it and we did it together. I was extremely fortunate to have an amazing team of athletes that looked out for each other. It was an incredible experience. It was life changing.
When you hit a bump in the road or are feeling low, what motivates you to stay so positive?
Bruno: Physical fitness and helping others. If I feel low, I go to the gym and workout to help change my physical and mental state. Then I go and help someone who needs their state changed. It creates a trickling effect of happy people!
If you’re interested in learning more about Bruno, you can visit his website.