A day in the life: what happens when you ask people who live with mental health difficulties to write about their everyday life?

Centre for Mental Health
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Reports on the results of a one-year crowdsourcing project by Social Spider CIC, which aimed to provide a snapshot of the lives and wellbeing of people who experience mental health difficulties in England. The project asked people living with mental health difficulties what their day was like, what made their mental health better and what made it worse. On four calendar days between November 2014 and August 2015 the project collected accounts of 893 different days by participants. Content analysis was carried out on 782 of the uploaded days to see what most affected people's day-to-day wellbeing. The most frequently mentioned themes, whether positive or negative, were: experiences of mental health services; the contribution of work to the sense of wellbeing; the stability and security of home life; support from friends; and a sense of purpose in life. The three most commonly mentioned positive wellbeing indicators were friend support, home life and sense of purpose. The three most common negative wellbeing indicators were experiences of mental health services, poor or unsatisfying sleep and the physical health. The archive of personal experiences submitted to the project have been stored online and provide a useful resource for anyone wanting to broaden their understanding of what living with mental health difficulties is actually like. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
mental health problems, user views, wellbeing, quality of life, health;
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