Could you use your marketing expertise to fight depression?
Marketers are essentially optimists. We are almost professionally required to see the opportunity in every situation.
But, something that is hard to see as an opportunity, is depression. Jayne Hardy knows this from personal experience. She has suffered from depression herself, and although not a marketer, her search for a solution to her own problems led to a market insight capable of igniting a breakthrough new social approach to tackling depression and mental illness.
Jayne had been searching for organisations to help her with her depression and found that, alas, they were frankly, well depressing.
Their websites were sombre affairs of blues and greys, with images of people looking like they were ready to end it all. But instead of giving up, Jayne made up her mind to make a difference to others as well as herself by creating a whole new approach.
She decided to create a social media based organisation with real personality that inspired conversation and openness. What was needed was a place where those with depression felt that if something was bothering them they could 'Blurt It Out'. And if you check out their website and social media feeds you will see how well Jayne and the Blurt team have succeeded in creating this vision.
The Blurt Foundation is now two years old and won a TalkTalk Digital Hero award in 2012. They have supported hundreds of people affected by depression by harnessing over 19,000 hours of volunteer time from their members.
Their system is ingenious. Blurt provides people who are suffering from depression and feeling isolated with an online mentor. Each mentor has experienced depression and, while they cannot give advice, they listen and offer a non-judgmental, safe environment in which mentees can unburden themselves, gain hope and get themselves back on the road to recovery.
Their model gives them the potential to address depression on a vast scale, and there is an increasing demand for their support. One out of every four people in the UK will experience mental illness in a year and only about 8% of those will receive focused support. Blurt typically gets ten requests for mentoring support a day, but when they have press coverage they receive ten times as many requests.
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Jayne knows that marketing expertise is needed to take Blurt forward and so she got in touch with us at Pimp My Cause. We were so inspired by her story of turning her own challenges into a bold approach to solving the problems of others that we wanted to share it with The Marketing Society members.
Blurt needs your help as a marketer to fulfil their potential to expand their impact. They would like advice and support in building their marketing and business strategies to enable growth of the organization to keep in line with demand for their services.
They are a dynamic team, ready to learn more about marketing and put into action strategic advice that will help them achieve their goal of expanding their services to reach thousands of new beneficiaries.
If you would like to use your marketing skills to support The Blurt Foundation or any of the other charity or social enterprise members of Pimp My Cause, please get in touch with Anna Mullenneaux, chief match maker at Pimp My Cause.
Read more about The Marketing Society's Marketing for Good initiative.