The importance of personal space in a mental health unit.

17 Apr 2018  |  by Toni Fitch

Our customers and service users in mental health facilities always express the importance of personal space – having furniture that creates a home-from-home feel to support rehabilitation, that allows the users to express their personality and a sense of self. Here are a few design and furniture choices that can help make personal spaces (usually bedrooms areas) more welcoming to promote wellbeing.

Chairs and seating.

Having somewhere to sit in a bedroom that isn’t the bed is beneficial – a chair with a medium or low back is ideal so you don’t block out natural light. When planning the room, leave space for the chair to be placed near a window so the service user can sit and enjoy the view if possible. Many chairs come in a choice of coloured finishes or can be upholstered in a variety of fabrics. By using subtle colour choices, space can come alive with personality which helps remove the clinical feel that can be linked to mental health facilities.

Cabinetry and storage.

A bedroom space in a mental health unit is more than just a place to sleep, it is the service users own personal area where they can choose to relax and recoup. Providing storage in this space for belongings gives service users a way to personalise the room so it feels more like their own during their stay.

Bedroom storage needs to consider strength, robustness, easy maintenance, space saving, safety (anti-ligature and anti-stashing) as well as an overall homely design. Since the furniture may be in situ for many years, experienced by several different users with varying mental health conditions during that time, it’s important to try and ‘future proof’ your choices. Fitted furniture is made to measure for each room based on the space available, meaning you can maximise the layout and any awkward shapes. Due to it being bespoke manufactured and fitted to both the floors and walls it is the safest choice for bedroom furniture and cabinets. Depending on the behaviour and challenges your environment sees we have a range of different fitted furniture ranges to suit your user’s individual needs.