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Behavioral & Mental Health

Behavioral and mental health (BMH) conditions affect one of five adults in the U.S. each year, and are even more common among patients receiving care for medical conditions. Up to 45% of patients admitted to the hospital for a medical condition or presenting to the emergency department with a minor injury also have a concurrent BMH condition. These BMH comorbidities increase the risk of psychological harm associated with care. Providing these patients with a healing, therapeutic environment should be an important goal for health design. Design interventions aimed at improving the psychological well-being of patients with BMH comorbidities may be more cost-effective than they initially appear, because they can be leveraged to support improved well-being for other populations as well, including other patients, staff, and visitors. 

Insights & Solutions

Webinar
June 2018 Webinar
With no known precedent, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pursued a vision to develop a new pediatric patient care unit: one that would meet the requirements and licensure of an acute care unit, but would provide a safe and supportive environment for patients with a comorbid developmental, behavioral, or psychiatric diagnosis. A multidisciplinary team worked together to envision, plan, and design an environment to support a new model of care for this unique population. Key elements of the project—a remodel of an existing unit—include patient, family, and staff health; circadian lighting; biophilic design; and safety.
Webinar
April 2018 Webinar
Adolescence can be a tumultuous time in one’s life. Mental health conditions often surface during this stage, and it may be the first time that some patients enter an inpatient behavioral health unit. How can design best support this patient population that is transitioning from childhood to adulthood? Learn how a design team utilized research, Lean processes, and innovation to solve the challenges of this unique patient population for the 27-bed Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit in Tacoma, Wash. Find out how design can support a seclusion- and restraint-free care model and how pushing beyond the conventions of behavioral healthcare design was achieved.
Interview
February 2018 Interview
Learn about how the design of a new psychiatric facility strives to normalize mental illness through carefully chosen materials with the goal of creating a “homey,” non-institutional setting, why private patient rooms will be included in the new final building as an important part of the design concept, and how research helped shape the architects’ beliefs that the built environment should support patients’ dignity and independence as part of the recovery process.
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