Cindy Girard


Cindy Girard has dealt with depression since the tender age of 11, when her parents divorced. By the age of 14, she had tried to commit suicide. In spite of depression haunting her on and off, she managed to complete an Honors Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, followed by a Bachelor of Education. She taught high school Mathematics and Science for fifteen years, mainly at an adult education center, where many of her students had to cope with learning disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome, and ADHD.

She had to sacrifice her career due to personal physical health challenges and the extreme behaviors of her two special needs children, who were later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (autism). The next eighteen months saw Cindy move to a completely new community, the collapse of her marriage, the abuse of her 10-year-old son by a trusted relative, and the shouldering of sole responsibility for her two special needs boys 24/7/365. All this with meager government financial assistance and very little personal support, while dealing with chronic fatigue and chronic respiratory infections. Needless to say, this string of circumstances, one after another, created the perfect storm, which caused Cindy to spiral into terrible depression.

Fast forward more than thirteen years, and Cindy now enjoys a depression-free life. She resides in a small rural village in Canada’s capital region, and she and her brother have started a social enterprise. Genuine Girard Foods strives to provide delicious food for those on restricted diets. Cindy loves designing new recipes and helping others enjoy wonderful food that doesn’t make them sick! As the company grows, they will train and hire those who face disabilities, visible and invisible, including mental health challenges and autism. Cindy has been speaking about depression and autism for a few years and continues to spread awareness and hope for those dealing with mental health issues and autism in their own lives or in the lives of those they love.

Her two young adult boys live in Ottawa proper. The oldest lives with his dad and is working towards his dreams of becoming a game designer and published science fantasy author. Her youngest is pursuing his dream to combine his love of mathematics and his love of computers into a career as a software engineer. Cindy, meanwhile, has her own dream of someday becoming a crazy cat lady.


You desperately want your depressed loved one to “just snap out of it!” Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. To help someone escape the deep, dark dungeon of depression, you must understand it from as many angles as possible.

Hear firsthand accounts from those who have spent time in the dungeon of depression and understand what traps people, so they are unable to “just snap out of it.” Learn what to do and what not to do in order to help your loved one break free of the dungeon.

Cindy Girard’s firsthand experience with depression, which imprisoned her on and off for over thirty-five years, will open your eyes to the many difficulties faced by those suffering from depression. After years of consultations with counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, religious figures, and other medical professionals, Ms. Girard now provides real strategies and solutions which have made a difference in her life and the lives of others.

Discover cutting-edge research which shows the connection between the health of your gut and mental health. Become aware of what you may be doing, even with good intentions, which actually reinforces the depression. Learn strategies that you can use to empower and encourage your loved one to take steps out of the dungeon, while identifying theories that are best left in the textbooks. Most importantly, learn to communicate love and acceptance independent of behaviour or achievement, so that your loved one has a safe environment to heal.

The Great Escape will equip you with tools to help you free someone you care about from depression. This dungeon is complex, often very deep, and is filled with a dark fog that twists reality. The journey to freedom is rarely quick, but it is always worth the effort!


  • You can take effective action to help free your loved one from the dungeon of depression!
  • Diet, nutritional deficiencies and/or environmental toxins may be causing or aggravating the depression.
  • Your own upbringing and hurts may be sabotaging your well-intentioned efforts to help.
  • Believing in your loved one, especially when others don’t, can shine hope into their darkness.
  • Establishing expectations and priorities together, so your loved one doesn’t feel trapped into thinking he or she doesn’t measure up and never will, works wonders for your loved one’s self-esteem.
  • Communicating love and acceptance of where your loved one is at right now, while simultaneously motivating them to believe in their ability to be and to do more, will truly change your loved one more than anything else can.
  • Helping your loved one navigate the identity crisis which occurs after a major life change such as divorce, job loss, or disability and then empowering them to embrace the opportunities this new identity presents, will help your loved one regain control over his/her life.


  • Depression can be fatal, but you can help save the life of someone you love!
  • Your own negative behaviour patterns which may be worsening the depression.
  • New scientific and medical research debunks the pervasive myth that depression is an imbalance of brain chemicals.
  • The dangerous side effects and withdrawal effects of antidepressant medications that doctors are not discussing with their patients.
  • Perfectionism and comparison are two walls in the dungeon that must be smashed if a captive is to find the freedom, self-esteem, and self-worth they deserve.
  • Although it is one of the most difficult things to do, forgiveness holds incredible healing power unequaled by any therapy or drug.
  • You may love someone, but unless you communicate this in a way in which that special person can understand and receive your love, they will feel unloved or even unlovable.