The University of Kansas (TUKH) Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital and the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Restorative Care Village are featured as projects reshaping mental health treatment accessibility and its impact on urban areas in a new piece titled “Mental Health Moves Downtown” in the Wall Street Journal.
As part of WSJ’s Future of Everything series, the piece discusses how mental health facilities in city centers are “spurring local business, providing work for those in treatment and using design to erode stigma.”
CannonDesign led the design of both the TUKH Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital and the LAC+USC Restorative Care Village. Stephanie Vito, one of our lead mental and behavioral health designers, was an integral part of the Strawberry Hill project. She shared how the former government building was surrounded by welcoming landscaping to make it just another part of the neighborhood.
“This helps convey that mental-health hospitals are not places to be avoided, but are valuable to the community,” Stephanie told the WSJ.
The story also shares how the Strawberry Hill hospital sparked economic revitalization in the form of more workers in the area, as well as the opening of a new grocery store and other shops. “It was an area where a lot of things were shuttering up and closing down,” shared Gregory Nawalanic, a clinical director of psychology services at Strawberry Hill. “Now we’re seeing a little bit of a resurgence.”
Also featured is one of several Restorative Care Villages being built across Los Angeles. Our team specifically designed the LAC+USC Restorative Care Village and proudly partnered with Los Angeles County on this groundbreaking facility aimed at getting medical and mental health care services to vulnerable citizens in the heart of the city. Residents who live near the site had input on everything from public art featured on the façade of the building to layout of courtyards and outdoor spaces.
Jonathan Sherin, MD, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, told the WSJ he’s hopeful businesses nearby will be future employers of residents of the new transitional housing, slated to open later this year.