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Designing Spaces for Behavioral and Mental Health Treatment

Course Description

A 2023 study by Mental Health America identified that 5.44 percent of adults experience severe mental illness. More than 12.1 million adults (4.8 percent) have reported serious thoughts of suicide. This is why “place” matters. The Advisory Board, which focuses on healthcare research, states “Behavioral health encompasses people’s psychological well-being and ability to function in everyday life. Behavioral health conditions include mental illness disorders and substance abuse disorders.” They also note, “Health systems are increasingly recognizing that behavioral health is an essential part of physical and population health.” There is a growing demand for centers to support behavioral and mental health issues, yet access to reliable behavioral health services is challenging. When the opportunity to design new construction or renovation presents itself, this educational unit will provide oversight and baseline considerations. There is an overarching need for centers to provide effective, specialized residential, inpatient, and outpatient treatment. Demand facilitates that architects and designers will be tasked with planning and constructing care centers in various geographic settings. While these facilities fall into the healthcare category, aesthetically and functionally they require a different design approach. Evidence-based research shows that behavioral and mental health patients heal better in a warm and welcoming environment.


Learning objectives:

  • Identify key flooring decision drivers and how making informed decisions supports evidence-based design principles for behavioral and mental healthcare.
  • Discuss the primary resources and research related to behavioral and mental healthcare environments as a tool for the architecture and design community and health systems or centers.
  • Define the impact of interior finishes on the cognitive, emotional, psychosocial, and physical needs of patients, residents, staff, and caregivers.
  • Describe why the floor matters, health, wellness, and safety from the subfloor to the surface finish.

Presenters: Sandra Soraci, EDAC, LEED AP, NCIDQ, IIDA, Director, Healthcare and Senior Living Segment Strategy, NA, Tarkett

Click here for registration.


EDAC Course ID:
November 1, 2023 to October 31, 2026
Class Frequency: