Headlines: November 20th, 2014

A new online project is calling on people living with mental health difficulties to blog about their lives.

People signing up to A Day in the Life will be invited to share their experiences of what makes their mental health better and what makes it worse by submitting a 700 word blog on set days as part of the year-long project. Bloggers are being asked to write about the same days. There will be further start dates starting in winter 2014, spring 2015 and summer 2015.

A Day in the Life is designed to provide an insight into the lives of people living with a mental health difficulty to help inform the development of policies and projects which better meet their needs. The project is also designed to better educate and raise awareness among the wider public of the reality of mental health issues.

Blogs submitted to A Day in the Life will be available to the public and will be searchable by theme, topic, and the positive or negative impact of events and situations on people with mental difficulties. This categorisation will allow the project to compile and publish reports on emerging themes, as well as propose ideas for further investigation.

Mark Brown, Development Director, Social Spider, said: “A Day in the Life offers us a great opportunity to capture a snapshot of what living every day with a mental health difficulty means for people. Volunteers offering to blog will be asked a simple question, ‘what made your day better and what made your day worse?

The internet has made it possible for more people with mental health difficulties than ever before to share their experiences, both good and bad. A Day in the Life will bring these experiences together in a way that will enrich the conversations about mental health that we all have, whether as policy makers or members of the public.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England, said: “Public Health England want to see this unique and important project succeed, and provide us with invaluable insight into the lives of people living with a mental health difficulty.

People signing up will know that their contributions will help health professionals, policy makers and commissioners to understand what helps, and what needs to be improved. I urge people to get involved and share their experiences.”

The project is being co-ordinated by Social Spider CIC, a London-based social enterprise, and has been funded by Public Health England.