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:
- 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.
Office and Shop Coordinator
Being part of the Blurt team is such a breath of fresh air - talking openly about mental illness is super important - and it's so rewarding knowing that our work is helping others through tough times, especially since we all understand what it feels like.
I've struggled with my own mental health for most of my life, juggling depression, OCD and anxiety (and I'm rubbish at juggling!) so I know it's not easy. I'm so lucky to work with such a lovely bunch of humans and helping out with all things office and shop.
Education Programme Coordinator
Blurt found me many years ago and asked me to do some writing. 200+ blogs, 30+ zines, and a job change later – I’m still here and can’t picture being anywhere else!
Through writing Blurt’s blog for many years, I learned so much about myself and the world around me. Writing them helped me – and I hope they helped others, too. I loved writing blogs, but my heart is in education,and I moved into the education programme about a year after it started.
I wish I’d been taught about mental health when I was in school – I didn’t have the language to express my feelings and didn’t know that I could communicate without words. I don’t want other young people to be in that position, I want to empower them to communicate the good, the bad, and the hilariously awkward.
I love coming up with new activities and ideas and supporting young people and school staff to learn about mental health. Working for an organisation who allow me to do that, and to keep developing, trying things out, and striving to be the best that we can be, feels like an immense privilege.
Community Support & Shop Operations
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.
Design & Product Developer
I first heard about The Blurt Foundation through peers on my uni course. I found it so refreshing to discover an organisation where dialogue about depression and other mental illnesses is so openly encouraged and supported. I was diagnosed with depression when I made the decision to leave school halfway through my A-levels and anxiety is an ongoing battle.
After enrolling in a Graphic Design course at college and later on at University, I completely fell in love with what I did and knew that I wanted to use everything I had learnt to create a positive impact. It is organisations like Blurt that make you feel like you aren't struggling alone, and I am so honoured to be part of such an incredible team and working alongside such a talented group of people.
Social Media Content Curator
I am passionate about social media and the positive impact of digital on mental health, so I have followed Blurt online for quite a while. I love the positive tonality of content, this brilliant community, and excellent inspirational messages across all channels.
I have experienced many mental health challenges. Like many of us, I have also struggled with social isolation, depression and anxiety and benefited from Blurt posts many times. Now, as I train to help others, I am honoured to lend my digital skills to the team. So glad to be here!
Education Programme Administrator
After an ongoing love affair with Psychology for 10 years now (and counting!), I’m thrilled to be part of the Blurt team and supporting all the great work they do to raise awareness and understanding of mental health. I've lived with depression and anxiety for most of my life, but hid it from everyone, as most of us sadly feel we should.
After a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in my early 20s, I was forced to let the mask slip and admit I wasn't coping (if only because my pesky blood glucose monitor kept ratting me out!). I felt relief, but also a thousand shames stemming from the stigma surrounding mental health. It was during this time that I discovered Blurt on social media, shining its beacon of light and hope in the darkness, and I suddenly began to feel less alone.
Blurt has been my comforting companion throughout the ups and downs of life ever since, and it's so lovely to see them continuing to shine that light for so many others. Their efforts to create positive social change and fight the stigma of mental health are a beauty to behold, and I'm honoured to be here to support them with their mission.
School Staff Supporter - Education Programme
Having supported loved ones suffering from mental illness, I have always been passionate about working in the Mental Health field. When I first discovered the Blurt Foundation, I was blown away by the number of helpful resources for those experiencing mental illnesses and those who just want to learn a bit more. Blurt's guidance and openness to help remove the stigmas surrounding mental illness is awe-inspiring and a real leap in the right direction!
Having worked as a primary teacher for many years, I feel privileged to be joining Blurt's education programme. I'm a huge advocate for raising mental health awareness within education. I truly believe that teaching young people skills to express and understand their mental health will positively impact future generations. What I also love about the Blurt education programme is its recognition and keen focus on teacher wellbeing because we all know how difficult their job can be, yet this is often overlooked. I'm honoured to be working alongside the fabulous Blurt team and supporting all our wonderful schools.
Your donations mean we can continue our important work which not only changes lives, it saves them too – THANK YOU!
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.