March 17, 2021

Stephanie Vito on the Positive Impact of Integrating Mental Healthcare into Communities

Writing for Worth, Stephanie breaks down the key elements in making mental healthcare an integral part of any community.

With an increased incidence around mental illness due to the pandemic, the conversation around mental healthcare and mental health resources has never been more important. As one of our Mental and Behavioral Health designers, Stephanie has worked on multiple projects that seek to eliminate the stigma of mental healthcare by making them part of the community fabric.

One such project is The University of Kansas Health System’s Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. She writes, ” The mental health hospital is part of an ongoing strategy to revive a previously downtrodden area of Kansas City, Kan. The project has created jobs, catalyzed commercial retail development and boosted the economy, all while elevating public awareness and care around mental health.” The facility also incorporates a large amount of lush plant life into its atrium and common spaces, bringing the outdoors in, known to boost recovery and mental health.

She also discusses the importance of artwork, used in projects such as LAC + USC Restorative Care Village and the CHOC Thompson Autism Center. She notes, “Art therapy has long been a tool in helping mental and behavioral health care patients. Both ensuring there is artwork in these spaces to enliven them, but also engaging patients in art creation are key aspects for healing. As mental health facilities are designed for increased community integration, this art therapy can extend into the community.”

For more on Stephanie’s vision of the future of mental healthcare, read the full piece.