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Searching, Unpacking, Naming: Research Into Subjective Experiences Study (SUN RISE)

Exploring how research involving subjective experiences is conducted, documented, valued, and used to shape future mental health research and associated activities.

Project overview

This study explores how research into the subjective experience of depression, anxiety and psychosis is conducted, valued and taken up – or not – within mental health research.

By identifying the ways research exploring subjective experiences is conducted, documented, valued, and used, we hope to highlight areas where integration of this kind of research in mental health has occurred well, and what the challenges to integrating this kind of research might be.

To do this, we are conducting a scoping literature review, a series of semi-structured interviews, identifying and reporting on five case studies (of research groups and institutions), conducting a q-sort study, and distributing a survey.

All of this will be done with the guidance of our international advisory board and is being funded by the Wellcome Trust. Wellcome’s mental health field building team, which includes international lived experience advisers, developed the original specification of the project, and will be feeding back on key project decisions and documents.

This study is running until June 2025, with a full landscaping report due to be published in 2025.


Commissioned by:

Project details

This study will enable us to begin to map the current landscape of subjective experiences in mental health research. Through this, we hope to identify ways that greater engagement with subjective experiences might be useful or appropriate, and how the ways in which this kind of research is recorded or shared might inform future research directions and efforts.

We were keen to take on this commission from Wellcome because subjective experiences research is important to everyone working in partnership on this study. We hope this will start an exploration into the scale and depth of research into subjective experiences to shape our understanding of depression, anxiety and psychosis.

McPin, working from a lived experience perspective, is leading this study along with partners at Durham University in the new Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities including Veenu Gupta, Angela Woods, and Ben Alderson-Day, and survivor researcher Alison Faulkner.

We have also convened an international advisory group including experts by experience, which is informing and shaping what we are doing at every stage of the project.

If you’d like to find out more information about the Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities at Durham University, please visit their webpages at The Platform.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or would like more information on the SUN RISE Study specifically.

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We are always excited to hear from others who want to collaborate on mental health research. From delivering peer research to helping you with public involvement strategies and providing training, get in touch to chat.