Good domestic design boosts wellbeing

Richard Mazuch, an architect and designer, and the director of Design Research and Innovation at IBI Group, looks at some of the effects of different domestic environments, designs, and characteristics, on mental health.

Helping to develop lifelong resilience

With, as he puts it, ‘funding shortfalls in the billions, year-long wait times for CAMHS referrals, and young people in crisis being left in limbo’, Phil Tottman, the developer of Book of Beasties:

Imaginative designs for therapeutic settings

Teal LifeCare designs, develops, and manufactures furniture to meet the specific needs of service-users with dementia, challenging behaviour, learning disabilities, eating disorders, autism, and a variety of mental health conditions.

A ‘paradigm shift’ in inpatient care

The use of seclusion and restraint in mental healthcare settings, and how such practices use can be reduced in line with ‘more 21st century’ thinking, and more ‘humane’ ways of dealing with extremely distressed or, on occasions, violent service-users, was the subject of an afternoon session on the first day of this year’s Design in Mental Health 2019 conference.

Addressing gaps and outdated practices

Former Minister of State for Care and Support, the Rt. Honorable Sir Norman Lamb MP, a passionate mental health campaigner and advocate for equal public funding for physical and mental health, gave one of the opening keynotes on Day Two of this year’s Design in Mental Health conference in Coventry, drawing on his experience both as an MP and Minister, and his extensive and committed work ‘behind the scenes’ as a champion of first-class mental healthcare provision fit for the 21st century. The Network’s editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.

Creating controlled but more humane settings

A look both at ‘the drawbacks of traditional key systems’ in inpatient mental healthcare settings – especially in removing service-users’ ‘basic freedoms’, and the risk of keys being used for harm, and at an access control specialist’s launch of a wireless solution which reportedly not only maintains security and safety, but also ‘gives service-users some independence and responsibility’.

Update on joint testing guidance initiative

Concerned about the lack of clear standards for products used in mental health settings, and of guidance and consensus on how to test them, the Design in Mental Health Network has been working with built environment consultancy, BRE, since 2014 to establish standards for testing key performance characteristics for products used in such settings to enable meaningful comparison and aid selection.

Recognising excellence in a sporting setting

The presentation of eight awards celebrating everything from creativity and teamwork, to service-user engagement and product innovation, an entertaining after-dinner speech by doctor, journalist, and health campaigner, Dr Phil Hammond, and a collection that raised over £1,200 for a teenage mental health charity, were among the highlights of the 2019 Design in Mental Health Awards Dinner.

Conference will address most talked-about issues

A second look – following our event preview in the January 2019 The Network – at some of the highlights that visitors can expect at next month’s Design in Mental Health 2019 conference, exhibition, and awards dinner, at a new, larger venue, Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – including some of the new products and services on show.

‘Human-centric’ lighting can enhance wellbeing

Dr Gareth Jones, Chairman of LED lighting testing and certification specialist, LUX-TSI, discusses evidence of the profound impact of daylight and artificial lighting on health and wellbeing, and explains how – with the right colour mix and intensity at different times of day – artificial light can ‘mimic, or even improve’, the light needed to maintain good circadian rhythm.

Multiple considerations for the ‘right’ design

A manufacturer and supplier of electronic water efficiency controls explains how it has developed its mental healthcare product portfolio, and some of the key priorities in its design of products for a sector which places demanding requirements on its suppliers.

Extensive refurb project transforms Hull facility

Multidisciplinary architectural practice, Alessandro Caruso Architects (ACA), has deployed its extensive healthcare design expertise to mastermind the £500,000 refurbishment of an inpatient unit for older people in Hull that predominantly houses patients with organic mental health problems.

Helping older people live independently for longer

With an ageing demographic, building science centre, BRE, working with partners, has created a new ‘demonstrator home’ – ‘Chris and Sally’s House – the Living with Dementia Home’, to showcase how housing adaptation can support those living with dementia.

Show van with innovation on tap

Glasgow-based camper-van conversion firm, Caledonian Campers, has undertaken what designer and manufacturer of specialist thermostatic mixing valves, showers, and taps, Horne Engineering, dubs an ‘outstanding bespoke conversion’, to create a special ‘Show Van’, in which it can demonstrate its product range to hospital engineers and facilities management staff, infection prevention and specialist care staff, architects, consulting engineers, and FM providers.

Uniform product testing guidance on schedule

The Design in Mental Health Network’s Innovation & Testing Workstream says that following last summer’s workshops for estates and facilities, design personnel, and manufacturers, followup such events for clinical staff held in the past 3-4 months have provided further valuable feedback towards the DiMHN’s and BRE’s joint development of formal guidance for testing of some of the most widely used products in mental healthcare settings.

A positive impact ‘on the other side of the world’

Matt Tebbatt, managing director of Midlands-headquartered multidisciplinary building design company, One Creative Environments (One), discusses the company’s work designing the Falklands Islands’ first ever purpose-built Vulnerable Extra Care Facility. Alongside this, One also designed the first phase of the redevelopment of the Islands’ only acute hospital.

Detection challenges in mental health facilities

Paul Pope, head of System Integration and Technical Support at Apollo Fire Detectors, highlights the challenges associated with fire detection in mental health facilities, and explains how the latest detection technology is helping to overcome them.

Secure door specialist aiming at new markets

Bedfordshire-based Stafford Bridge is best-known as a supplier of high security blast and ballistic-resistant door and window products.

Committed campaigner to give Coventry keynote

Liberal Democrat MP, Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support at the Department of Health from September 2012 to May 2015, and a committed campaigner on mental health, will be among the keynote speakers at May’s Design in Mental Health 2019 conference in Coventry.

Taking community learning to the European Parliament

DiMHN director, Russell Hogarth, and Nigel Farnworth, manager of the Creative Communities Group UK, and two community members, recently visited Brussels to spread word of CCGUK’s work and strengthen bonds with key European community learning organisations.