Introduction

A recent trend in behavioral healthcare facility construction is pushing interior designers, architects, healthcare officials and others involved in the look and feel of the facility to normalize or— in more laymen’s terms—create a residential feel inside their walls. Evidence-based research says that the normalization of these facilities can lead to better patient outcomes, reduction in stress and anxiety, and an increase in staff well being. This research is clearing the way for facilities to soften their environments in an attempt to create harmonious spaces that are humane and create a sense of dignity for all who spend time within their walls. In doing so, this data also points to faster healing times, shorter hospital stays and less need for medications and restraints.

In a sense, the findings indicate that the care a patient receives and the building where they receive it should not be separated. In fact, this research suggests that coupling the two together produces better results for all of those who spend time within the facility.

To obtain these goals, color is now being used instead of monochromatic grays, views of nature pepper the walls, courtyards display attractive gardens and in some cases the exterior of the building itself looks quite like a home.

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