WE ARE BLURT, AND WE’RE 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.
The stuff we do here at Blurt is vitally important, and we want to carry on doing it. Here are our strategic priorities for 2016/17:
- Increase awareness and understanding of depression
- Develop 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.
Founder and CEO
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.
Peer Support Manager
I had been volunteering for the Blurt Foundation for five years in various roles, when I joined the team as the Peer Support Manager in 2016. I am excited to be part of such an innovative organisation. The Blurt Foundation originally stood out at me for being so unique and caring, especially having experienced depression, PTSD and anxiety for many years before joining the team. Jayne is my very best role model, and it has been a joy and privilege to work with Jayne and see the Blurt Foundation thrive and get the recognition it deserves. I'm delighted to be part of a team that will continue to make that happen!
Social Media Community Manager
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 Administrator
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.
Assistant Peer Support Manager
One of the best decisions I ever made was to start doing various volunteering while studying at university. It was one of the things that was constant during a difficult few years. More than all the career fayres and employment talks, volunteering made me realise that I really wanted to use my skills and experience to work in the third sector.
I had followed The Blurt Foundation on social media for a while because I had people close to me with mental health difficulties as well as experiencing problems myself. After graduating I worked in the support side of a not-for-profit health organisation, so it feels like a natural progression to now be working with The Blurt Foundation to help manage the peer support network and the fantastic volunteers that make it happen. It feels great to be able to use my skills and experience for a company whose aims I support.
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.