He's a police officer trying to make a difference. Garry Sims has served nearly 35 years with the NSW Police Force and works as a Detective Chief Inspector in the Hawkesbury.
Recently he completed training as a community ambassador with suicide intervention organisation R U OK in a move to help others.
"I became a community ambassador to make a difference and communicate the message of R U OK that we all need to be better connected to protect against suicide," he said.
Mr Sims said suicide knew no bounds and there were people in the community today who were at risk.
"In my policing career I have seen first hand the impact of suicide on the communities that I have served and unfortunately I have experienced the loss of colleagues as well due to the pressures of policing," he said.
In his role Mr Sims said he could address public meetings, talk to work groups and students and discuss a raft of situations to show the importance of how starting a conversation could change a life.
"The important of this conversation is that over 3000 people die by suicide each year in Australia with men, youth and Indigenous people figuring highly. Starting a conversation could change a life. It's that important," he said.
During an intervention people would be introduced to ALEC for assistance, according to Mr Sims.
Ask R U OK?
Listen to what people have to say. Remember non verbal cues as well.
Encourage the person to take action (speak to a doctor or Lifeline)
Check in. Make sure the person is doing ok and let them know we care.
Mr Sims said R U OK's vision was to connect with all age groups.
"A community is made up by diverse ages, and risks occur across all ages, that is why it is important for individuals to look out for each other and not hesitate to start a conversation," he said.
He said a community has a role to look after and protect one another.
"I have given nearly 35 years in protecting the community in my role as a police officer and the initiatives delivered by R U OK are a natural extension of my commitment to the community," he said.
Mr Sims said he would be available at no cost, to address community groups, work places and schools to promote the vision of R U OK and to assist with the protection from suicide.
"I want to provide the community with the ability to start a conversation that could change a life," he said.
Follow Garry Sims - R U OK on Facebook or reach out via email at RUOK_garry@outlook.com.au or call 0411 838 848.
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