The Big Blurtathon

On Friday the 21st of September 2018, we’re hosting The Big Blurtathon and we really need your help to make it a rip-roaring success.

The theme of this years is ‘We All Have A Story’ – because we all do, and we’re going to be handing over the mic to anyone who’d like to hold it to share theirs.

The Big Blurtathon

The World Health Organisation estimates there are more than 300 million people in the world living with depression right now. We know all too well, the despair, shame and isolation that depression brings. At Blurt, we’re dedicated to helping those affected by depression. The work we do is vital, but we couldn’t do any of it, without awesome people like you.

The aim of The Big Blurtathon is to raise as much awareness and understanding of mental ill health as we possibly can, drawing in as much help as we possibly can too. We’ll also be concurrently working to raise funds during the day to help support the work we do. And with your help, that’s bound to be amplified, magnified and brilliant-ified.

Our somewhat lofty ambition is that we have 100 people on each team – there are three main ways to be involved, and if you feel able to, you’re more than welcome to go all-in and be involved every which way. The details of the different ways you can get involved are below. As more people/organisations join our squads, we’ll release more details – we’re already having some exciting conversations!

Join Team Blurt-it-out

It’s our hope that with societal shifts leading to more awareness and understanding surrounding mental health that organisational culture evolves too; into supportive, open, encouraging, flexible places to work and be. A culture change is always an inside job, always.

We’re challenging all organisations, of all shapes and sizes – from FTSE 100 companies to grassroots ones, from schools to support groups, from sports teams to soft plays – to host a mental health session, delivered by someone on the inside.

Why?

Because, as well as evidence and reports aplenty about why the cultural changes are well overdue, we all already have stories and we all have mental health.

Stats say 1 in 4 of us will experience mental ill health in our lifetimes – this means that your organisation or group will have members who have experienced mental illness or are experiencing these issues right now. By giving them the chance to speak to their peers we give others a chance to learn from their insights and experiences. We respect our peers, we can relate to them far more than a stranger from a mental health organisation who comes in with slides and stories. When we hear it from someone who is ‘like’ us, it hits home much harder and makes a longer-lasting difference. We realise, if it can happen to someone ‘like’ us, it can happen to us too.

We’ll support you all the way too: we’ve put together a tailorable session framework, video guides to encourage, guide and generate ideas, accumulated lots of resources to help you pic ‘n’ mix the content which best supports your personal stories, and I’ll be on hand to answer any questions, queries or quibbles, you may have. If needed, we can liaise with the decision-makers in your organisation, on your behalf.

So, what next?

  1. Chat to the decision-maker(s) and tell them all about The Big Blurtathon – show them this email or email us their contact details and we’ll get in touch with them for you.
  2. Once a date for the session has been confirmed, please complete this form so that we can get the ball rolling and equip you with everything you need to start preparing for the session.
  3. Lean on us – The Big Blurtathon is a collaborative effort so if there’s anything we can do to help you, anything extra you’d like to help you, any ideas you have that you’d like to share, any hand-holding, pep talking, pom-pom shaking we can do, any queries, quibbles, or questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a nudge.
  4. We’d totally love the opportunity to sing your praises and so we’ve set up this page for you to send us in photos and information about your event so that we can share them and sing loudly and proudly.

Join our fundraising squad

We really understand how devastating depression can be. Jobs come to an end, relationships break down and lives can be lost, all through the effect of depression.

That’s why the work we do here at Blurt is so important – it not only changes lives, but saves them.

So, what next?

  1. We’ve put together some fundraising packs to support you and to help you rally your troops – they’re available to order on this page: https://www.blurtitout.org/support-blurt/#resources
  2. Depending on what your fundraising event might be, you can also set-up a fundraising page on LocalGiving, the best bit about doing this is that you can share the links on social media (and if you @ us on Twitter, we’ll share them for you too). Usually, the sharing of our stories and of our ‘why’ for fundraising can resonate with others and LocalGiving allows space for you to share that if you feel comfortable in doing so.
  3. Lean on us – The Big Blurtathon is a collaborative effort so if there’s anything we can do to help you, anything extra you’d like to help you, any ideas you have that you’d like to share, any hand-holding, pep talking, pom-pom shaking we can do, any queries, quibbles, or questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a nudge.
  4. We’d totally love the opportunity to sing your praises and so we’ve set up this page for you to send us in photos and information so that we can share them and sing loudly and proudly.

Be a social mover and shaker

Once upon a time, we would use dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks or ask people we trusted to refer us to an authority on a topic.  With ‘ask Google’ becoming a verb, it’s clear that times have changed. But when it comes to the stigma of mental health? We’ve not moved on half as quickly.

One of the first things we do when we receive a diagnosis of any kind is to learn about it. Across the internet, there’s factual information aplenty about what depression is, what it’s like to live with and the things we can do to try and manage it. Whilst it’s important to have that readily available, what’s equally important, is to be able to hear about the experiences of people we can relate to.

We underestimate the power of our stories but they’re mighty. Our hindsight can serve as incredibly useful foresight for someone else. Our stories can empower, harness hope and help people to feel less alone. They can also inspire, educate, increase understanding and challenge the stigma around poor mental health.

We’re encouraging anyone with a social media platform to share their story on the 21st September 2018; to talk about their experience of mental ill health in a way that feels comfortable. Because when we open the door to vulnerability, it makes it easier for others to walk through; we kickstart those ever-important conversations which might go unspoken otherwise.

All the yeses, what now?

We’re asking people to share their insights and experiences of depression – we want to highlight the reality of depression, the impact depression has had on our lives, giving people a chance to share ‘what you don’t see’.

  1. Have a think about what that might look like. Will you write a blog post or a series of tweets? Perhaps you’ll record a podcast or a short film? Maybe you’d feel more comfortable hosting a Q&A session online, or offline.
  2. Schedule the publication date to coincide with The Big Blurtathon – 21st September 2018.
  3. If you feel really uncomfortable sharing your story, perhaps you could borrow ours, write about this campaign or share/regram/RT the stories of others.
  4. Please use the hashtag #weallhaveastory and don’t forget to link to us and tag us so we can thank you and share/regram/RT on our platforms too – after all, we’re handing the mic over to you and want our social media feeds to reflect that.
  5. If you’re a little stuck, have ideas you’d like to sound out with someone, or would like some more guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to help.

Fingers crossed

We’ve got our fingers, legs and toes crossed, that we can pull this off.

Whatever you’re able to contribute will be so gratefully received. Thank you for your unwavering support, we couldn’t do what we do without you.

The Blurt Team <3

Sharing is caring: please share loudly and proudly to help us get this thing off the ground.