By Debbie Gregory, DNP, RN; James M. Hunt, AIA; Kimberly Newton McMurray, AIA, EDAC; and Ben Szela, PE, CEA
1.0 AIA LU/HSW
Behavioral health facility construction is experiencing a spike in the U.S., due in part to enhanced benefit provisions in the Affordable Care Act that have widened access to mental health treatment. Recent gun violence, mass shootings, the opioid epidemic—these and other social issues with significant behavioral health implications have underscored the need for continued availability of mental health services and well-designed facilities in which to conduct them.
After reading this article, you should be able to:
+ DESCRIBE the chief differences between designing for behavioral health and designing for general health.
+ UNDERSTAND ligature risk and why gravity is irrelevant when identifying a ligature risk.
+ LIST the ways that improper interior design can negatively impact behavioral health patients.
+ DISCUSS how technology can assist behavioral health facilities to achieve greater patient safety.