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Current location: Coventry

This opportunity is based in Scarborough which is quite far from Coventry!
If you are a CU Scarborough student you can view the opportunity here

The Blurt Foundation

The Blurt Foundation logo

We are Blurt, and we’re dedicated to helping those affected by poor mental health. We raise awareness, provide tools...

The Blurt Peer Project

This opportunity takes place between 01 Sep 2020 and 30 Jun 2021. Closing date for applications is 19 Jul.

The Blurt Peer Project is a ground-breaking, peer-led project focused on improving the mental health of young people aged 4-24, equipping them with essential tools to ultimately achieve happier, healthier, and fulfilled lives.
  • Half of all mental health problems manifest by the age of 14.
  • 48.5% of 5-19 year olds with a mental health disorder have more contact with teachers than any other professional service.
  • In 2015, 22% of 15-year-olds reported as ever having self-harmed.

1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s around 3 children in every classroom.

 

  • Mental health problems in childhood can have a big impact on their quality of life as an adult.
  • In schools, children’s mental health problems can affect their attainment and behaviour
  • Funding cuts make it hard for schools to address children’s mental health needs.

 

  • 75% of adults with a diagnoseable mental health problem experience their first symptoms by the age of 24.
  • 75.6% of university students with a diagnosed mental health problem have concealed their symptoms due to fear of stigmatisation.
  • 87.7% of university students have struggled with feelings of anxiety. This increased by 18.7% between 2017 and 2018.

That's Where We Come In

Our Vision
At Blurt, we increase awareness and understanding of depression. The Blurt Peer Project is an extension of this – bringing this awareness and understanding into schools, colleges and universities up and down the country. Through this project, we want to teach young people all about mental health and self-care, and to equip them with skills to manage life’s ups and downs.

Our Aims

  • To raise awareness of depression and mental health in schools
  • To support and develop student peer networks within their educational setting
  • To empower and support young people to become peer leaders
  • To create an online hub for our partner schools and universities, with an array of downloadable tools to aid mental health and wellbeing

Our Expected Outcomes:

  • An increase in the number of 4-24 year olds empowered to talk about mental health.
  • An increase in self-care and resilience in young people, allowing them to feel better equipped for any challenges they may face.
  • Development of leadership, communication, and social skills in students and volunteers.
  • Improved confidence, behaviour, attainment, attendance, and achievements of young people in our partner schools and universities.

How Does It Work?

As the name suggests, our programme is designed around peer-to-peer learning.

  1. We link groups of volunteers with the named teacher at each of our partner secondary schools/colleges.
  2. We have a jam-packed e-learning training programme for all of our volunteers to work through one module at a time. They teach you all about mental health and self-care. Every module has a lesson plan outline to accompany it. 
  3. Each group of volunteers fills in the lesson plans and creates resources to go with them.
  4. Volunteers deliver the modules to the secondary school/college students. This could be over a few weeks or on one day. It might be to a classroom of students or to a small extra-curricular lunchtime group; it depends on the school’s needs.
  5. Small groups of secondary school/college students design and run an activity to share their learning with their peers. How they choose to share their learning is totally open to them – we’ve had loads of different ideas from zines to ‘wellbeing Wednesdays’.

(Please note: though we’ll try our best to match schools with a college or university, this may not always be possible. In these circumstances we will chat to you about an alternative way to run the project.)

The modules include:

  1. Naming And Talking About Emotions (this will include the spectrum of emotions, and the difference between ‘feeling anxious’ and ‘having anxiety’)
  2. Mental Illness, Stigma, And Language 
  3. Early Warning Signs, Coping With Our Emotions, And De-Escalation
  4. Effects Of Our Actions On Ours And Others Wellbeing (this topic touches on self-harm and eating patterns)
  5. Helpful Habits

We’re by your side the whole time –only ever an email or phone call away. We’re here to support you and to be your cheerleaders.

How Does It Benefit Me?

  • Learning all about self-care and mental health can help you as well as those you share your learning with.
  • Experience of working on this project can help when applying for jobs. You’ll gain experience in ‘soft skills’ including problem solving, teamwork, and communication – skills that employers perceive as being really important.
  • We are more than happy to provide references for any jobs you apply for, or for any university volunteering awards you’re working towards.
  • It gives you chance to express your creativity and try things out! We’re really keen for all of our volunteers to have fun with the lesson plans and resources they create.
  • You have the chance to meet others who share similar interests and passions to you, and to make a real difference in the lives of young people.
  • It’s fun!

What Do We Need From You?

To make this project work, there are a couple of things we need from you: 

  • Commitment. We understand that life happens, and sometimes unexpected things crop up. We’re also more than happy to flex and to take the lead from you regarding any additional needs. But it’s really important that you’re able to commit to the project for the length of it as far as is reasonably possible, and that you speak to us if you’re struggling to keep up with it.
  • To be up for giving things a go and doing your best. At Blurt we are constantly learning. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow, we try stuff out, some stuff doesn’t work, often we’ll surprise ourselves. Things don’t always run smoothly and the outcome of things we try isn’t always what we expected. We’re not expecting you to be perfect, but we do expect that you do your best and that you’re up for giving things a go.
  • To be kind – not just to others, but also to yourself. We don’t want you to run yourself into the ground or to burn yourself out in order to complete this project. If you’re finding it tough going, please speak to us.
  • To be honest. If you really want to create resources but the thought of going into schools makes you feel sick (or vice versa) – talk to us. We can try and be flexible and see what we could do; we’d much rather that you were honest with us than that you just disappear for a period of time.
  • To enjoy it! Have some fun! Mental health is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a bit of fun along the way. 
  • Practically, we expect you to complete the training, create resources, deliver sessions to secondary school/college students, support small groups of students to run an activity within their school/college, and fill in and return the forms we ask for.
  • We’d also love it if you could feedback to us honestly. We don’t always get things right. This is a new project, so there will probably be the odd bump or challenge along the way. By letting us know, we can help to problem-solve it, learn from it, and improve the project as we go.

I'm Up For The Challenge, What Next?

We’re incredibly excited to be working with some brilliant institutions and some wonderful people – and we’d love to work with you, too.

You can get your School, College or University involved by signing up here.

Need a bit more information first? No problem at all. You can drop us an email at peerproject@blurtitout.org.

Hours per week

3-5

Hours details

We don’t run the programme on the basis of how many hours it takes as this will vary between participants. We do ask that people commit to the full programme where possible. Please speak to us if you have any worries about this.

Training available

We have a comprehensive e-learning package. It goes through five different topics related to mental health: 1. Naming And Talking About Emotions 2. Mental Health Vs. Mental Illness 3. Coping With Our Emotions 4. Effects Of Actions 5. Helpful Habits This e-learning takes you through each modules and has blank lesson plans to fill in that run alongside them. We're also around to answer any questions you might have.

Location

Home-based with some (optional) school/college visits.

DBS required?

No

Benefits to self

- Learn about mental health and self-care - Experience in project-working (gain soft skills) - We can provide references - Express yourself! - Meet others with similar interests. - Have fun!

Benefits to others

- Raise awareness of mental health - Help people develop better habits - Empower young people - Create resources - Open up peer networks - Support schools/colleges (optional)

Transport details

We reimburse any expenses incurred within our expenses policy (but we do expect you to organise your own travel where necessary).

Time commitment

We don’t run the programme on the basis of how many hours it takes as this will vary between participants. We do ask that people commit to the full programme where possible. Please speak to us if you have any worries about this. Programme is around an academic year (but we can flex!).

Support

We have a jam-packed e-learning training programme for all of our volunteers to work through one module at a time. They teach you all about mental health and self-care. Every module has a lesson plan outline to accompany it. Education coordinator on hand for questions/support as and when needed.

Expenses

Reasonable expenses are reimbursed in line with our expenses policy. We don't want anyone to be out of pocket.
  • ProfessionsHealth, Online Volunteering
  • Health & Social CareMental Health
  • People & CommunitiesChildren, Young People
  • Student Led ProjectsProject Leader, Team member

Employability skills

  • Transferable Skills 0