Furniture for Behavioral Health should embrace the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual or holistic aspects of healing. Bright spaces and open floorplans encourage behavioral health patients to spend time out of their rooms, participating in activities with other patients. Because safety is paramount, the selection of healthcare furniture requires an eye for design and careful material selection. The design of any behavioral healthcare setting is meant to help people feel comfortable and receptive to treatment. If the environment is comfortable and inviting, it tends to have a positive effect on behavior.
Behavioral Health-Specific Design
Behavioral Health furniture should be designed, engineered and constructed for the challenging and critical environments specific to psychiatric applications where residents or patients require highly specialized care. Furniture should address the safety requirements for patients, residents and staff. Furniture should have specialized features such as additional steel-reinforced joints, tamper-proof screws, softly rounded edges on all corners, and non-removable drawers for casegoods. Seating in a behavioral environment should also have concealed bottoms to prevent access to any exposed staples or loose fabric. Furniture that is residential in style is preferred in behavioral healthcare environments. Additionally, if the furniture is durable, tamper-proof and elegantly designed, it provides safety without an institutional appearance.
Designed for Calm
Guest rooms should be a peaceful place. Calming design incorporated into guest rooms is important. Add built-in benches to provide a place for residents to read and a place for counselors to sit and talk with patients in their rooms. All beds, casegoods, chairs and wall protection should be solid, secured, and made of wood-like durable finishes that can withstand the harsh environments of daily use. Large windows with window seats allow patients the opportunity to experience the calming effects of nature while seated or resting in bed.
Behavioral Health Common Areas
Create lounge and lobby areas with bright open floorplans and clean, classic furniture design that exudes a calming atmosphere. Family rooms and game rooms should be located near nurses’ stations and outfitted with furniture designed to encourage patients to socialize outside their private rooms. At all times furniture in behavioral health common areas should radiate a feeling of compassionate care by extending a welcoming, nurturing and safe environment.
Life Skills Behavioral Dining
Dining areas should have a hospitality-like presence and serve as a snack area and multi-purposed space for group activities. Again, the furniture must be durable for this area and the group kitchen as these locations give people a place to learn and practice life skills. Dining chairs and tables should be easily cleanable, unbreakable and should be capable of being permanently bolted to the floor.