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Choice and Dignity in Behavioral Health Design for Children

August 2023

The first of its kind in the state, the new pediatric behavioral health unit at Children’s Minnesota sits at the intersection of patient choice, comfort and comprehensive care. 

Providing care to more than 1,000 patients between the ages of six to 17 annually, the 22-bed unit ensures adolescents’ and younger children’s unique needs are met. Each age group has their own separate wing, complete with distinct common areas and amenities including activity rooms, quiet spaces, day rooms and an outdoor area to further protect patient dignity and independence. 

Additionally, the space implements design principles to promote a healing and sensory-friendly environment including a soft color palette, unique watercolor-like wall art inspired by the changing seasons, and large windows to let in natural light. 

This new unit is one of few in Minnesota that admits patients with more complex medical conditions and is staffed with a full suite of mental healthcare specialists, including psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, music therapists, and more.

This webinar will highlight the interior design considerations and subsequent design decisions for Children’s Minnesota to meet the surging demand for pediatric mental health services. To ensure the new space met the specific needs of patients and their families, the design team consulted with the Children’s Youth Advisory Committee, a group comprised of patients aged 10 to 18. Come hear their story.