Friends of Hope For Mental Health

Spider Jones
Founder, Believe to Achieve

Spider pours his heart and soul into the community, especially to the youth through his foundation, Believe to Achieve. Spider is also a highly popular motivational speaker who is much admired for his diligent work among the youth. His inspirational life story “Out of the Darkness” reveals his amazing rise from the impoverished, gang infested, inner-city projects of Detroit and Windsor and how, as a grade five dropout, he eventually returned to school at the age of thirty to become an honour student. Spider’s favourite thing is talking to his Nighthawks, whether it be about sports, entertainment, or hot issues.

Over the past 20 years, Spider has interviewed such notables as Muhammad Ali, Mark Wahlberg, Jesse Jackson, LL Cool J, Ron Howard, Scott Grimes, Doug Gilmour, Cito Gaston, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Kris Kristofferson, James Brown, Guy Lafleur, Carlos Delgado, Jim Brown and countless others. Among his other claims to fame he acted as a sparring partner for such boxing legends as George Chuvalo and former World Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Ellis. Spider was also a member of Muhammad Ali’s training camp back in the days when ‘The Greatest’ fought Chuvalo.


Shaun Gillespie

Anyone who really knows me, knows I don’t identify as a police officer. I don’t shun the identity or lack respect for the job, but I have always strived to have my own identity. That said, facts don’t lie, I spent 14 with the Toronto Police, I was a constable in the Cayman Islands and after that and I have spent the last 16 plus years with the Provincial Police. I will be closing in on 31 years of proud service when I retire later this year. Policing, like so many other vocations, is a proud and honorable career, but can be a tough one, more on that in a bit.

As well as policing, I have been a working musician for many years. My project, an ‘80s tribute called The Bomb were honored to play the Hope For mental Health event in years past, and we would of this year as well, had it not been for an unforeseen hiatus, a hiatus that in some ways very much relates to the reason we all join Bud and the Foundation for this annual event. To support one and other, to recognize the impact that mental health can have on people, on projects, on a team. I am happy to report that The BOMB is now re-jigged and re-formed and moving forward.

My own experiences as they relate to mental wellness, policing and being a friend of the HFMH foundation unfurl something like this:

As a young teen I was diagnosed as OCD neurotic with a side order of anxiety disorder. Back then there was no tangible treatment, real support or proper meds offered and I suffered in silence for nearly a decade. I recall it took a lot of fortitude and time to wrestle control of my thoughts and fears and indeed even now, I am still a quirky guy who battles some demons.

Click here to continue reading Shaun’s story…

Brittanni Holliday

Ten years ago I started the hardest battle of my life. A battle I will continue fighting for the rest of time. Mental Health is an uphill battle. Constantly looking for a silver lining or a ray of sunshine that seems like it will never show up. But let me tell you, it does. I am now 23 years old and will never say my battle is over. But I will say because of the support and recourses I received I am leading the fight. I am in charge of my life now and I will continue to fight each and everyday. I am strong on my own and even stronger with help. Mental Health is real and it is a part of every single persons life in one way or another, known or unknown. My name is Brittanni, I am 23 years old and the strongest I have ever been. I am not defined by my diagnoses. Bipolar, depression, anxiety and bulimia are not who I am they are what I am fighting against. Every minute of every day. I will always fight and I will always stand next to those who wish to fight these demons.

End the stigma…. Get help… Be the help… Receive the help…. #hopeformentalhealth

Clayton Earl

Being a great father and husband is of the outmost importance to Clayton. Although he struggles with Mental Health, the love and support from his family, his love for the game of Lacrosse and his deep passion for music, some how the light would shine through on the darkest of days. Clayton’s courage to reach out, get help and create the Documentary below, is an inspiration to all those that struggle with Mental Health and give them hope.

Being born and raised in Muskoka, singer/songwriter Clayton Earl has spent the past few years meticulously crafting his long-awaited debut album “Now You Know Me”, set to be released in summer 2016. According to Grant Nickalls, Clayton “has the ability to take the time to observe human nature and the human condition and put it into a song”. Clayton’s single “I Need You” can currently be heard on the airwaves and has received praise from radio DJ’s and musicians alike. Providing our ears and minds with captivating lyrical imagery, Clayton has an uncanny ability to provoke deep emotional rawness through his voice and musicianship. Clayton Earl is truly providing his listeners with something special. Please enjoy the Documentary below.

Proceeds from Clayton’s music are donated to Canadian Mental Health Association.

Joshua Busuttil

My name is Joshua Busuttil. I’m a Public Speaker & Author. The primary theme that I speak and write about is a reflection of my personal struggles. I share my story overcoming Bullying, Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The organizations I represent are the United Way Of Greater Toronto and YouthSpeak. My story has been heard by thousands of individuals to help others in their time of hardship. I will continue to uplift others in silence.

Mississauga Man Overcomes Bullying to Become Author and Fitness Guru
by Ashley Newport, insauga.com, Dec 31, 2018

It chips away at someone’s already fragile self-esteem, furthering their isolation and alienation from their peers. And while much is being done to raise awareness of and discourage the ongoing torment of victims (often for the “crime” of being shy or awkward or troubled or different), some former victims turn the corner when they throw themselves into art, music, or fitness.

In the case of 26-year-old Mississauga strongman (more on that later!) Josh Busuttil, turning to all three helped him turn things around.

Busuttil, who recently came in sixth place at Ontario’s Strongest Man Competition, is also a mental health advocate, speaker and author.

Beyond giving inspirational talks to big businesses, he also gives back to the community by volunteering for Nexus Youth Services, a Region of Peel-based organization that works with young people to create a safe, relaxing and respectful environment that celebrates youth culture in all its diversity.

Busuttil knows what it’s like to struggle with being different.

“In my teenage years, I was diagnosed with severe Tourette Syndrome and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder),” Busuttil says.

Click here to read the rest of the article…