As designers, we’re enabling a critical shift in the perception and treatment of behavioral health. Mental illnesses affect tens of millions of people each year in the U.S., yet according to estimates, only half of the people with mental illnesses receive treatment. While misperception about these conditions persists and impairs how we approach them as a society, the demand for treatment and for facilities that deliver high-quality care continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.
Against this backdrop, we are envisioning behavioral health as a system where people are carefully evaluated, fully treated and integrated back into society with the support they need. The key to healing is to create humane, accepting, and comfortable environments that bolster both the patients and the clinical professionals. So, what do these spaces look and feel like?