Designing better mental healthcare facilities

Construction workers can ‘escape to the beach’ via immersive pod

Construction firm, Graham, recently launched an ‘Immersive Pod’ experience to improve the mental health of builders on its Mossley Hill mental health facility construction site in Liverpool.

The company says the Immersive Pod’s purpose is ‘to provide a captivating environment for people to sit back, relax, and enjoy the virtual reality experience’. The Immersive Pod allows people to take a break from their working day and ‘escape to the beach for 20 minutes’. Graham explains that each individual can create their own personal experience by choosing their preferred background noise and lighting, while having access to a range of health and wellbeing services available through inbuilt technology. It said: “Through visualisation and immersion, the Pod can help strengthen and improve people’s body and mind connection, allowing them to reap the awards of greater wellbeing and mindfulness. The soothing sounds, soft lighting, and relaxing environment, help alleviate sensory overload.”

“Graham is committed to promoting good mental health and wellbeing by providing innovative initiatives that will develop and nurture our staff,” explained David Daly, Wellbeing Manager at Graham (pictured inside the Pod). “We are always looking at ways to do things differently – the Immersive Pod being our latest concept. Who wouldn’t want to be transported from the construction site to the beach?”

Peter Reavey, Regional director at Graham, said: “We are delighted to be piloting the Immersive Pod on our Mossley Hill mental health facility project. We hope the site team finds this experience not only enjoyable, but beneficial for their mental health and wellbeing. Graham’s aim is to be able to roll out this initiative across other project sites soon.”

“We’re delighted to see this site coming together and ending dormitory wards in Liverpool,” explains Mersey Care’s Estates lead, Elaine Darbyshire. “This is Mersey Care’s fifth hospital build since 2016, and we understand the impact positive care environments can have on recovery. As a Trust with a strong history of mental health care, initiatives like the Immersive Pod are welcome, and demonstrate that wellbeing is rightly in the mainstream of construction projects.”

Being built under a  building contract with developer, Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP), on land owned by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, the new Mossley Hill inpatient facility will phase out traditional shared dormitory mental health wards to provide 80 single bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. There will be an emphasis throughout on providing therapeutic spaces with light and airy environments, as well as facilities for family visitation and multi-faith worship.”


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