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September 2019

Residential trends in mental healthcare design

The recent positive shift in society’s attitude towards mental illness is ushering in a new era of residential design trends in modern behavioral healthcare facilities. Gone are the days of bland, sterile institutions expected to warehouse patients indefinitely. Patients are now receiving treatment with the expectation that timely rehabilitation and reintegration into their community is real possibility. As a result, behavioral healthcare facilities are focusing more on creating environments that promote safety and social interaction while providing a sense of normalcy for their residents. 

To efficiently complete treatment, patients should feel familiar and comfortable with their surroundings. Mental health facilities should replicate the community that a patient will face following their discharge. This has allowed aesthetics to transition from a preference to a priority in modern behavioral health design. While it is essential for these facilities to prevent self-harm and closely adhere to safety guidelines, humanizing them to promote healing in patients is equally important. 
  • Research has shown that brighter, more optimistic color palettes provide a warm and therapeutic feeling compared to standard neutral options.
  • Likewise, the use of realistic artwork has proven to reduce anxiety and agitation in patients as well as contribute to a potential decrease in medication costs.
  • Bringing outdoor elements indoors with wood and other natural finishes can also serve as a positive healing distraction that benefits patients of all ages. 
By: Josh Amaral

Posted: 9/11/2019 2:05:57 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments

Integrated floor and wall solutions

A strategy for ligature-free behavioral and mental health design

When designing behavioral and mental health (BMH) facilities, it is crucial that a patient’s surroundings are devoid of any factors that could endanger their wellbeing. This is especially true in the case of creating secure transitions between materials that minimize the risk of self-harm or aggressive behavior. Floors and walls specified for these applications must adhere to the same guidelines, resulting in a surge of integrated, ligature-free transition techniques.

Traditional sheet flooring products such as vinyl, linoleum and rubber typically rely on flooring caps or similar accessories to terminate up a wall. These accessories provide patients with impromptu tools for aggression or self-harm as well as ligature points for potential suicide attempts. Integrated transition methods bond floors and walls without external joints or caps to form a tamper-proof installation that ensures the safety of both patients and staff. 

One extremely secure way to transition floors to walls in BMH facilities is a technique known as the rebate method. This procedure is particularly useful in high-risk settings including seclusion areas and patient rooms. To begin the process:
  1. A rebate is saw cut into the surface of the wall. 
  2. Once the rebate is present, the flooring and wall cladding can be tucked and glued into the void. 
  3. A pick-proof caulking fills the void between the two products. This prevents patient tampering and gradual seal damage while firmly bonding the flooring and wall cladding within the rebate.

The ability to treat patients effectively depends on whether or not a space fosters safety and security, meaning it must be free of any potential ligatures or hazards by any means necessary. Incorporating this key fundamental into your design can facilitate the rehabilitation process for everyone involved. 

Discover our interactive ligature-resistant detailing 

By Joshua Amaral, Marketing Communications Specialist
Posted: 9/24/2019 4:15:45 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments