We would like to reintroduce one of our featured speaker's, and friend, from The PosVibes Project in 2015. Joshua Busuttil took the stage at our event back in 2015 to perform his second public speech ever, to share some of his personal experiences with his mental health journey. Since then, Joshua's inspirational story has extended it's reach to 30 different event hosted by a multitude of organizations such as BMO, United Way and the Peel Regional Police. 

My name is Joshua Busuttil, and I am Mental Health Advocate, Speaker and Author. In my teenage years, I got diagnosed with severe Tourette Syndrome and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized up of motor and vocal tics. These tics include eye twitching, arm jerking and head bobbing. Vocal tics manifest with the individual shouting inappropriate obscenities such as swearing. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized with negative unwanted thoughts which cause the sufferer great distress.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with both of these conditions while entering my first year in high school. As a result I endured insurmountable bullying which onset early stages of depression. Through my high school years the tics and anxiety really got the best of me. I felt worthless and ashamed. In addition to to theses trials, I lost two friends in a span of a year which took a huge toll on my mental health. In 2011, I decided to randomly attend a networking event at The Nexus Youth Services centre which coincidentally changed and saved my life. Nexus Youth Services offer resources and support for those suffering from mental health challenges. Nexus offers educational programs and clinical counselling with group sharing and peer support activities that benefited my well being. After I finished my time in counselling I got referred to become a speaker on the United Way Of Peel Speakers Bureau, and I now co facilitate the Art and Fitness group at Nexus.

In 2015 I bumped into an old friend while volunteering at nexus. It was amazing to see my old friend, JJ Harland. I met JJ in back in 2004 when he played hockey with my brother. One of the workers at Nexus told the group of people coming from different agencies to hear my story. When I told my story about overcoming Tourette syndrome, OCD, depression and many unsuccessful times of suicide the after effect resonated with my audience. Everyone told me they were so uplifted while leaving, and that my story had left an impact.

The day after, JJ called me and told me about a mental health awareness event he was organizing called PosVibes Project. It was an event to raise awareness about mental health with donations going towards Nexus Youth Centre. At the first event in 2015, I shared my story to an audience of around 200. The applause I received was overwhelming. I had so many people come up to me and say thank you for your uplifting story. To me showing strength in hard times is worth more than anything. The PosVibes Project was the stepping stone for my speaking. That night was my second speech. I have now spoken at many different companies and events that include Edward Jones, Pepsi, City Of Mississauga, Telus and many more. These past few years have been surreal. 

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The PVP team would like to congratulate Joshua for reaching 30 speeches! We are inspired by your incredible growth as a speaker and person and wish you continued success in your future endeavours.