Jayne Hardy is the Founder and CEO of The Blurt Foundation. From personal experience, Jayne Hardy really understands how devastating depression can be. She’s on a mission to support those affected and bust the prejudice surrounding the illness. Depression can end jobs, relationships and even lives, which is why her work is incredibly important.
Through The Blurt Foundation, Jayne spreads the message that mental health is just as important as physical health, to save lives as well as change them. By raising awareness, providing tools and knowledge to help proactive recovery, and challenging the stigma that prevents people reaching out for help, she has helped to improve the lives of thousands of people.
The Blurt Foundation connects those who have been through depression with those currently struggling, to provide comfort and reassurance – that knowing nod that says “I understand”, “I’m here for you”. Alongside this, Jayne uses social media highly effectively to open up the wider conversation, helping everyone understand the reality of depression and battling the prejudice that exists.
Jayne has been named by Marketing Magazine as one of the UK’s Top 100 Digital Mavericks 2015, and was the winner of the TalkTalk Digital Hero Award in 2012. She has also been shortlisted in the Mind Mark Hansen Digital Media category in 2013 and in the Mum And Working Most Inspiring Business Parent category in 2015.
Her most recent campaign #WhatYouDontSee trended on twitter for 4 hours on Monday 18th April as part of Depression Awareness Week. The hashtag has been used over 100,000 times on facebook and a Buzzfeed article about the campaign has been read over 750,000 times. #WhatYouDontSee also gained support from the Mental Health Shadow Minister Luciana Berger, MP Johnny Mercer, and celebrities including rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson, author Marian Keyes and Prison Break star Wentworth Miller.
1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do
I am the founder of The Blurt Foundation – a social enterprise which is dedicated to helping those affected by depression. Blurt was born from my own personal experiences of depression and frustration at the stigma associated with the illness. I’m extremely passionate about reducing isolation, challenging the stigma and using my dark experiences in a positive way.
2- Who inspires you?
There are so many things and people which inspire me. My daughter inspires me to see the world through her eyes – the simplicity, the wonder and laughter. I’m inspired by every member of our peer support group who, despite their own personal challenges, show overwhelming compassion, empathy and kindness every single day. I find Brene Brown, Kristin Jeff and Guy Winch incredibly inspiring. And I’m hugely inspired by people who have overcome diversity to help others.
3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
I’d love for my daughter to grow up in a world where we have parity of esteem between mental and physical health.
4- What would you like to be remembered for?
Oh goodness, I have no idea. It’s not something I’ve ever had to think about until now. I’d like to be remembered as someone who listened and who cared.
5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year?
The effectiveness and delivery of peer support in the recovery and management of mental ill health. But also in the delivery of mental health education.
6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?