Could mental health patients benefit from better bedroom design? A new initiative started by the Design in Mental Health Network (DIMHN) is hoping to do just that.
The Better Bedroom Initiative aims to move mental health bedroom design away from the sterility of grey/beige hospital rooms, and into an innovative, modern environment, which is far better suited to recovery for a lot of patients.
Mental health problems are different from physical ailments which need to be treated in hospital, the idea is to create a familiar, less institutionalised setting in which people can recover in comfort.
Jenny Gill, who is leading the initiative on behalf of the DIMHN, recently said in an interview with Healthcare Design & Management: “We are trying to create a safe environment that strikes that balance between being safe and secure, with things like anti-ligature fixtures and fittings, but one that is also pleasant to be in and as such aids recovery and reduces length of stay.
“Mental health bedrooms tend to be rather bland environments. For the Better Bedroom project we have been quite bold with our use of colour to show there is an alternative.”
The latest best practices have been brought together as part of the initiative, to help inspire designers and make sure that in the future stable environments are created to help give patients the best possible chance of recovery.
Joe Forster, chairman of the DIMHN, added: “We are providing a starting point so that people can begin from a position of strength. We are trying to encourage them to think outside the box.
“There are lots of things around about minimum room size and important considerations like privacy and dignity,” he said. “These are often intended as a minimum standard, but they become the norm often to save money. For many it is easier to get a set of criteria off the shelf and then choose the products that fit. This is the simpler and often cheaper way of doing things.
“However, this over-standardisation gives you less agility and prevents smaller manufacturers and suppliers from getting a foot in the door and this stifles innovation.”
David Bailey Furniture Systems wholeheartedly backs the Better Bedroom Initiative and we understand the important role environment can play in recovery, having our Healthline fitted furniture range installed in a number of UK mental health centres.
Bespoke healthcare furniture solutions to suit the specific needs of the situation are something we would always advocate. After building up over 30 years of experience in this field, the advantages of innovative design are particularly clear to us.
Find out more about our Mental Health Centre furniture, download our Healthline brochure to browse our fitted furniture range, or to find out more about the Better Bedroom initiative, please click here.