Stéphane Grenier

Ottawa, Ontario

Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Stéphane Grenier is a mental health advocate, as well as a consultant, an entrepreneur, and a keynote speaker. A former soldier with the Canadian Department of National Defence and NATO, he returned to civilian life suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but determined to conquer it and help others do the same. To do so, he founded Mental Health Innovations, a consulting firm that provokes game-changing action to address mental health in the workplace.

Grenier is also an author whose autobiography After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture has received widespread acclaim, both from medical and mental health professionals and from ordinary people who have suffered from similar mental health issues.

Early life

Although Stéphane Grenier has made very few on-the-record comments about his childhood, he has stated that his father was also in the Canadian Armed Forces. As such, he grew up in a military family, which shaped not only his sense of duty and discipline but also influenced his own decision to enlist in 1983.


During his military career, Stéphane Grenier participated in numerous overseas missions, most notably nine months in Rwanda during the 1994 tribal genocide and six months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2007 during the Global War on Terror. He also had shorter deployments to Cambodia, Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, Lebanon, and Haiti. 

After serving in Rwanda, Grenier was confronted with an undiagnosed case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which ignited his interest in how the Canadian Forces handled mental health issues. In 2001, he coined the term “Operational Stress Injury” (OSI) to reframe perceptions of mental health in the military. He then conceived, implemented, and managed a national peer support program that was adopted by the Canadian military. The program continues to operate nationally, with 57 offices and almost 70 staff members. 

In 2007, he created a department-wide workplace mental health education program, leading to the highly successful “Road to Mental Readiness” program. This peer-based mental health education initiative is widely used across the military, first responders, and trauma-exposed workplaces. In 2009, he initiated a corporate mental health awareness campaign recognized by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

In 2010, Grenier was seconded to the MHCC to lead the Peer Project and develop the National Standards of Practice for Peer Support. Despite the MHCC canceling the Peer Project two years later, Grenier, along with supporters, created a new charitable organization to continue the work. He also served on the Workforce Advisory Committee of the MHCC from 2008 to 2012. He retired from the military in 2012 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 29 years of service.

Once situated in civilian life, Stéphane Grenier built upon his status as a nationally recognized mental health innovator and advocate by entering the public speaking circuit. Concurrently, he also founded Mental Health Innovations Consulting (MHI), an enterprise that develops non-clinical mental health treatments to complement traditional care. MHI specializes in implementing workplace peer support for client organizations in both the private and public sectors, as well as developing mental health approaches focused on changing harmful workplace culture. In 2016, Grenier launched a second company under the umbrella of MHI to deliver peer support services within inpatient mental health units at the provincial healthcare system level.

Over the years, Stéphane Grenier’s efforts to forward the cause of mental health have earned him several accolades. He received a military commendation for his leadership during the post-war humanitarian disaster in Rwanda and was awarded a Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada for his work in peer support. In 2009, he was recognized as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. In 2015, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Guelph and Humber College.

Currently, Grenier is an in-demand keynote speaker, giving in-depth presentations on subjects related to mental health throughout North America. He is also a published author. His autobiography, After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture, co-authored with Dr. Adam Montgomery, chronicles his own journey, beginning with his tour of duty during the Rwandan genocide and continuing through to his efforts to change mental health culture in the Canadian military.

Net Worth



Developing the Peer Support Program for the Canadian Armed Forces in 2001.
Being appointed to the Mental Health Commission of Canada in 2007.
Being recognized as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in 2009.
Founding Mental Health Innovations in 2012.
Receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Guelph and Humber College, both in 2015.
Writing and publishing After the War: Surviving PTSD and Changing Mental Health Culture in 2018.
Becoming a Member of the Order of Canada in 2018.
Being named an Honorary Patron of Natasha’s Wood Foundation for his role in promoting mental health wellness in the children and youth of Canadian Armed Forces veterans in 2019.