Help at hand for depression sufferers
By Blurt It Out
If you’re one of the 1 in 6 people that will experience depression, then you’ll know how debilitating an illness it can be. You may isolate yourself from friends and family, feel like a burden when you reach out for help, be unsure of which way to turn for help, which step to take.
On the really bad days getting out of bed feels like a Herculean effort, getting out of the door is a battle with your instincts. Simple, everyday things we take for granted when well become chores.
Your GP may have prescribed medication, referred you to counselling but what else? You may feel you want to talk to someone less formally, but who? Friends and family will care and want to help but often they don’t understand unless they have been there themselves.
That ‘knowing nod’ when someone understands and can identify with how you feel is like gold dust. It’s reassuring to know others have suffered similar anxieties and also interesting to hear about their coping strategies. Often, you may not realise that small changes to your diet and exercise, can have a massive effect on your general wellbeing.
That’s why the people behind Blurt have set up a free online mentoring scheme for anyone affected by depression. Importantly this service is not only available for people suffering from depression, but for those who support those with depression who often need support too.
Blurt was formed by people who have experienced depression themselves. Founded by Jayne Hardy of Plymouth, Devon, the organisation was set up after Jayne herself was diagnosed with Depression and endured an 8 year battle to get well. At her worst, she couldn’t leave the house, was isolated from friends/family and personal hygiene was non-existent. After being encouraged to speak out on a daily basis by Blurt co- founder husband Dominic, Blurt was born in summer 2011, with Kerry Warnes joining the Blurt team in December 2011.
Since inception, Blurt has managed to help over 400 people with varying levels of depression via their innovative online mentor scheme. Offering around-the-clock support, all mentors are CRB checked and then strategically placed with those whom are suffering from the mental illness in order to help them essentially ‘blurt’ out their problems.
Blurt’s main focus is in raising the awareness of talking about depression and resolving it through support, friendship and mentorship and also making it more innovative and convenient to speak to people. Despite being a brand new charity, they have already won support from an expert doctor - 'I think this website is a refreshing approach to helping people with depression and reducing stigma. I am recommending it to my patients.” -Dr Mary Embleton, GP Mental Health Commissioner.
Their aim is to provide support and information for people affected directly and in-directly by depression. They aim to reduce the negative stigma surrounding depression by helping people realise they are not alone, and by raising awareness of depression they aim to encourage isolated people to blurt it out which could be by requesting a mentor, writing a blog post or even tweeting using the hashtag #blurtitout.
Blurt’s Jayne says ‘’We’re supporting people who are fighting a negative social stigma, by providing them with an outlet to express themselves, which for some, may be the only outlet they have.’’
Requesting a mentor couldn’t be easier. Complete the mentor request form here http://blurtitout.org/request-a-mentor and you will be assigned a mentor within 5 working days. Your mentor will remain the same for as long as you feel you need them and whilst they cannot advise or counsel, they can be a friendly ear when you most need it.
For more information about Blurt, please visit http://www.blurtitout.org/