Mental health is a growing challenge in the modern world. Just as our understanding of mental illness itself has improved over the past few years, so has our comprehension of how design can promote recovery and positive mental health.
This article explores a few key design principles for mental health facilities.
Sunlight and even artificial light can provide benefits for mental health patients. Designing your facility to increase patients’ exposure to light – especially morning light – can improve their outcomes.
Depending on your premises, this may mean ensuring patients’ rooms face east or north to receive natural light in the morning, designing daytime common areas to make the most of morning sunlight, or creating welcoming outdoor spaces for patients to enjoy both the light and air.
Speaking of outdoor spaces – there’s also evidence to suggest that proximity to nature can improve mental health patients’ emotional wellbeing. Your location, along with your patients’ needs and situations, will largely determine how this is best achieved. You may be able to incorporate gardens and green spaces outside your facility for patients to enjoy, or you may be able to bring nature inside in appropriately safe ways with indoor plants.
A key trend in modern mental health design is the focus on “domestic” style spaces rather than “institutional” facilities. Setting up your premises outside a psychiatric hospital setting and/or including residential-type facilities and space for personal freedom (where appropriate) are simple ways to apply the deinstitutionalisation trend to your mental health facility.
At Premis Solutions, we recently completed a fitout of the High Dependency Mental Health Unit at Ipswich Hospital and the Acute Adult Mental Health Ward at Robina Hospital.
Contact Premis today to discuss your fitout and hospital refurbishment plans and needs. To get in touch, call us now on 1300 773 647.