WE ARE A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE DEDICATED TO HELPING THOSE AFFECTED BY DEPRESSION.
The Knowing Nod
Think of us as the knowing nod. You’ve seen it – a slight bob of the head, often accompanied by a smile. A little movement that says, “I understand”, “I’m listening” and “I’m here for you”. That’s us.
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.
Let’s talk about it
It is difficult, but talking about depression is really important. We think people who’ve experienced it know best, so we’re passionate about peer support – connecting those who have been through depression with those who are currently struggling, to provide reassurance and comfort during a very scary time. It’s that knowing nod thing again.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and we’re working hard to get that message out there. We raise awareness, provide tools and knowledge to help proactive recovery and challenge the stigma that prevents people reaching out for help. We work closely with medical practitioners, employers, schools and companies to help them understand depression, what it means and how they can support those affected by it.
Blurt exists to make a difference to anyone affected by depression. Being diagnosed can be overwhelming – there’s a lot to learn and plenty of prejudice to battle. Telling people is tough, and not everyone will understand. That’s why we’re here for you, whenever you need us, for anything at all.
We’ll help you understand depression and what it means for you. We’ll support you, listen to you and introduce you to people who’ve been where you are. We’ll help you break down barriers and broach the subject with those closest to you. We’ll help you help yourself, with a little knowing nod.
We’re a Social Enterprise which means that we’re dedicated to creating positive social change. We operate similarly to a business but are regulated by the CIC Regulator to ensure that our profits are ploughed back into the community we have chosen to serve: those affected by depression. We’re structured in such a way too, that means nobody will be receiving large dividends, nor bonuses – our priority, and passion, is to make a difference to those affected by depression.
The stuff we do here at Blurt is vitally important, and we want to carry on doing it. Here are our strategic priorities for 2017/18:
- Increase awareness and understanding of depression
- Develop additional peer support networks
- Collaborate with partners to facilitate learning and innovation
- Strengthen revenue streams to create a more planned and sustainable future
The Blurt Team
We’re a small but mighty team with a couple of awards under our belt – we won the TalkTalk Digital Hero Award in 2012 and were shortlisted for the Mind Mark Hansen Digital Media Award in 2013. We’ve got a real desire to change the conversation around depression and without these amazing people, we wouldn’t be able to do that.
Jayne Hardy, Blurt’s Founder and Chief Executive, lost most of her twenties to depression. At the height of her illness she was unable to work, leave the house or even undertake the most basic acts of self-care – she lost a tooth because she didn’t feel worthy enough to clean them.
During this dark time, one of the things Jayne struggled with most was the feeling of isolation. She had cut herself off socially for fear of being a burden, and found it extremely difficult to talk to loved ones about her depression because of the great deal of shame she felt. With long waiting lists for counselling, and face-to-face support groups too daunting to attend, Jayne was left to cope with her condition alone.
When Jayne founded Blurt in 2011, her chief goal was to prevent others from feeling such isolation. Having experienced first-hand the powerful connections that could be fostered via social media, Jayne deliberately focused Blurt’s activities online – providing interim support for those struggling with depression and challenging the stigma around mental health.
Jayne’s innovative use of the Internet to bring about positive social change was recognised from the off. She won the TalkTalk Digital Hero Award in 2011, and last year was included in Marketing Magazine’s list of Top 10 Digital Mavericks. A proud mum to two-year old Peggy, Jayne was also shortlisted as Most Inspiring Business Parent in the mumandworking 2015 Awards. Most recently, Jayne has been mentioned as one of 19 inspirational women leading the way in mental health by Rethink as part of their International Women’s Day celebrations and has spoken at TEDxBrum about her experiences.
I'm passionate about connecting people with other people who have shared similar experiences but also in raising awareness and understanding of depression.
I truly believe that starting conversations about depression, not only empowers and educates, but it saves lives.
I found out about all the great things that the Blurt Foundation do through a good friend of mine and felt extremely proud when asked to be part of the Blurt's BuddyBox and Design Team. I love the way the guys tackle the issue of depression by turning it on its head and really focusing on the positives. Working in the advertising industry, you get used to seeing the stereotypical black and white poster with a person sitting in the corner of the room alone with their head in their hands but talking to Jayne, it was great to learn how they approach the stigma of depression and how, through working together, we can help tackle a subject matter that has affected people very close to us all.
I have wanted to work in the Mental Health field for as long as I can remember, so when I was given the opportunity to use my social media management skill set for Blurt I jumped at the chance.
Depression is an illness very close to my heart after watching loved ones suffer through it and being affected myself.
Removing the stigma surrounding depression is something I have always felt very strongly about, to allow people the opportunity to discuss their feelings without fear or concern. I adore the way Blurt strives to make that happen and ensure everyone's voice is heard.
The Blurt team are like a loving, caring family, with the wonderful Jayne as our matriarch, and it is a family I feel blessed to be part of.
Customer Service and PA
I had initially planned to work in academia. However, after experiencing bouts of depression throughout my teens and early twenties, a particularly nasty spell forced me to leave my Masters course. Whilst recovering, I realised that I wanted a career that helped people suffering from mental illness. People who, like me, felt alone or stigmatised because of their illness.
My amazing best friend introduced me to The Blurt Foundation during this devastating episode of depression. I will be eternally grateful to her, as Blurt’s social media posts and newsletters helped me feel so much less alone with my depression. When an opportunity arose to work with Blurt I felt like it was meant-to-be. I am overjoyed to have joined such a wonderful team of people and am looking forward to the future with Blurt.
I am extremely proud to have joined the Blurt team to assist with partnerships and fundraising strategy. When I first met Jayne, I was completely captivated by her passion, energy and vision for reaching out and helping others to find a brighter path. With 65% of the UK population suffering with a mental illness at some point in their lives, the need for a personal, approachable team like Blurt is vital. Blurt is an amazing organisation, with a fantastic team and extensive network and I am really happy to be involved in helping to take Blurt to the next level so that we can reach out and help many more people in their time of need.
Knowing that I'm partially responsible for delivering a little bit of happiness and a 'hug in a box' to thousands of people every month fills me with sheer joy. There really couldn't be a more satisfying job.
I've had my own battles with depression over the years, and Blurt's mission to get people talking about mental health is very close to my heart. Their devotion to raising awareness and understanding of depression is truly life-saving, and I feel privileged to work with such an amazing team.
As a Virtual Assistant, I support various organisations, and I'm always eager to support charities in their quest to do good. It's my small way of giving something back to the world, and I can't think of a more deserving charity to support than Blurt. They truly are an inspiration.
I love working for Blurt. I’ve never come across a charity that is so human and in touch with those they support. I’ve lived with depression for most of my life. It can be a very lonely and isolating illness. I hope that the words we write help others to feel less alone, and to feel included in our Blurt family.
I am excited and proud to say I have joined the Blurt family. Having volunteered for Blurt previously, I’ve seen first hand how many people have been affected by depression and the amazing work that Blurt do. The personable approach, love and care Blurt show is inspirational and vital in helping to remove the stigma of depression.
After meeting Jayne and seeing her creativity, passion and contagious positivity, I can’t wait to be a part of seeing Blurt grow and help more people in their time of need.
I have seen people who are very dear to me live with depression and anxiety. I would always offer support the best way I could but I felt like I never really understood what was happening with them, and that somehow my support probably wasn’t enough. That was until I was diagnosed with depression about six years ago and then anxiety tagged along for the ride about three years later and I began to realise that, sometimes, a kind word or a simple hold of the hand was enough.
I love working for The Blurt Foundation and being part of something that is so immersed in positivity. As well as supporting those living with depression, The Blurt Team are also great at supporting each other. I work mainly in the shop, packing the online orders, and I love to see when people are being kind to themselves as well as others. It’s so important to be kind to yourself, which is something I am slowly getting better at
Supporting Jayne through some really dark times has taught me a great deal about the importance of a support network, not just for Jayne, but for those who have supported her. I'm incredibly proud that Blurt's resources include information for the 'supporters' and that we continue to acknowledge the ripple effect of the illness and increase awareness and understanding.
The Blurt Peer Project
We're in a really interesting, and hopefully pivotal, time for mental health. When I first started struggling with my mental health, there was far less support and awareness, and I vividly remember how negative my experiences were. It's because of this that I started working in youth mental health, striving for positive change.
10 years on and we've made amazing progress as a society regarding inclusivity and understanding, but we still have a way to go. I'm eager to be part of constructing a future where everyone's mental health is supported.
I'm thrilled to be joining the Blurt team as I believe that, together, we can really make a difference to the lives of so many people. In my role as Peer Project Coordinator I hope to create a sustainable and meaningful change in the lives of tens of thousands of young people, changing how we see and talk about mental health, and encouraging them to take a proactive approach to their wellbeing.
I can't wait to see what we achieve!
I first worked with The Blurt Foundation when the team included some of my colouring sheets in a Buddy Box. I was bowled over by the awesome work Blurt do and some time later, after keeping in touch with Jayne, began to assist with curating boxes and illustrating the box artwork and products each month.
Whilst I've never experienced depression myself, I have been on the other side, supporting loved ones through their mental health struggles and witnessing how important self-care and mental wellbeing really is.
I love being able to work with Blurt on illustrations that go out into the world and spread positivity, raise awareness and hopefully make people smile, too!
Awards and Shortlist
Marketing Magazine top 10 Digital Mavericks of 2015
A complete honour to see our Founder, Jayne Hardy, in this list – a list of women who, together, make up Marketing’s Digital Mavericks, in association with Monster, have managed to overcome any such obstacles to achieve success on their own terms.
They have a variety of backgrounds, experiences and expertise, and their achievements underline the opportunities that lie ahead for the next generation of talent.
Shortlisted in the Most Inspiring Business Parent 2015 award category
It’s an absolute pleasure to see our Founder, Jayne Hardy, shortlisted in this category in the mumandworking 2015 Awards, hosted by NatWest.
Shortlisted in the Mind Media Awards 2013
We were extremely honoured to be shortlisted in The Mark Hanson Digital Award Category, in 2013.
TalkTalk Digital Hero 2011
Our CEO, Jayne Hardy, was the proud winner of this award in 2011.
The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards, in association with Citizens Online and The Mirror and backed by Go ON UK, was the UK’s first scheme recognising people who harness the internet to bring about positive social change.