February 18, 2020

Psychology Today: How Design Improves Mental Health Care Spaces

Our Tim Rommel teamed with Sheppard Pratt Health System President and CEO Harsh K. Trivedi, MD, MBA to author a piece for Psychology Today titled, 4 Ways Design Can Improve Mental Health Care Spaces.

The article highlights that while “mental health treatment facilities are commonly stereotyped in popular culture as unremarkable buildings in isolated areas” that’s not reality.

In truth, “modern, well-designed mental health treatment spaces contribute to healing and expand the therapeutic benefit provided by a skilled team of mental health professionals. And, the need for mental health treatment spaces is rising – as one in 5 Americans will experience mental illness in a given year.”

Tim and Dr. Trivedi then go on to highlight how designers and healthcare staff can work closely together to shape solutions that amplify patient wellness and privacy, reduce stigma, and foster community.

The full article is available online. Here is an excerpt:

Privacy and Wellness
When patients stay in a care facility away from home for any period of time, the lack of privacy can be overwhelming.

Design solutions can create opportunities for personal space for patients who may feel like they have none. Simple steps like offering private patient rooms with their own private, safety-oriented bathrooms, can help offer moments of reprieve.

Another key step is designing facilities with private garden spaces where patients, families, and staff can spend time. A new Sheppard Pratt hospital set to open in 2021 is oriented so that most patient bedrooms and all of the on-unit therapy and activity spaces directly face the surrounding landscape and have access to walking paths, benches, and reflection areas to offer privacy.

Read the full Psychology Today article >