Understanding how design can impact a patient’s outcome is the first step in achieving a thoughtful design approach that serves all stakeholders. Saturated with information and new ideas, Healthcare Professionals, Architects, and Designers are changing how we build for Mental Health.
The Center for Health Design (CHD) Behavior Health Design held a conference last year where a panel of healthcare design experts answered some key questions about the impact of design as it relates to mental health and the outcome of patients.
The questions and summarized responses are below. (Full Version Here)
Question 1: What role can the built environment play in solving the dire and growing mental health and substances abuse crises?
- The built environment can play a role in solving the dire mental health crisis by integrating design strategies that improve safety with healing environments, and by utilizing the growing body of evidence that helps us understand best practices.
Question 2: What impact do your design decisions have?
- Design decisions have the power to positively (or negatively) impact the outcomes for all parties. Developing the ideal relationships between programmatic functions, and environmental factors is crucial to the decision-making process for patient and staff safety and well-being.
Question 4: How do you make use of the best and latest design solutions?
- To make the best use of the latest design solutions for creating dignified therapeutic environments it is imperative to be constantly up-to-date with the most recent discoveries and lessons learned. Through continued use of evidence-based design, we are able to continually grow as knowledge-based practitioners.
In the past, there was a lack of attention for behavioral and mental health treatment options. That is starting to change. The focus is to build a welcoming environment that emphasizes patient safety. Designs must minimize access to hazardous items and minimize safety risks in the patient’s bedrooms and bathrooms.
With the new focus on mental health, designers know they can make a difference in the lives of children and adults faced with mental health challenges.
Erin Sharp Newton. “STRATEGIC FACILITY DESIGN (FOR MENTAL & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH FACILITIES).” Archinect, 29 Nov. 2018, archinect.com/NewtonsNotes/strategic-facility-design-for-mental-behavioral-health-facilities.