Abstract

To date, the wellbeing of people who experience mental health difficulties has been an under-explored area in terms of policy and practice. Interactions between researchers and people who experience mental health difficulties have often centred around either service improvement, the development of treatments or the understanding of symptoms. What has been missing to date is a sense of what everyday life with mental health difficulty is actually like.

A Day in the Life was a one-year crowdsourcing project conceived and carried out by Social Spider CIC that asked people living with mental health difficulties one very simple question: What was your day like? What made your mental health better and what made it worse?

On four calendar days between November 2014 and August 2015 via an open appeal, the project asked people who identified themselves as living with a mental health difficulty to write up to 700 words about what their day was like. Over the year, 893 different days were written by participants, or nearly half a million words, giving a window into the everyday lives of people with mental health difficulties.