Designing with Nature Imagery to Improve Outcomes in Behavioral Health
Designing behavioral health environments has come a long way, and using nature photographs to improve patient outcomes has become increasingly sought after.
In the last several years we’ve seen the stigma surrounding mental health start to crumble. It began even before the pandemic and has been propelled to the forefront ever since.
We’ve found ourselves providing soothing nature images for more and more behavioral health environments within the last few years, and there are no signs of that growth slowing.
And it makes sense. Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand when considering overall wellness, so we must use an evidenced-based design process when determining what works best when designing environments that specialize in mental health recovery and treatment.
In a seminar during the 2019 Healthcare Design Expo and Conference titled, “Designing a Place of Sanctuary for Behavioral Health Inpatients and Staff,” presenters Jim Hunt (AIA, Founder, Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, LLC), Kim Boe (Executive Vice President, West Springs Hospital), and Robyn Linstrom (AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, Davis Partnership Architects), talked about the importance of establishing “non-threatening, calming environments” that are “non-institutional.”
They described using “natural imagery” to give patients “access to a comforting environment” where patients have the “ability to rest, [and] experience peace and quiet.”
Our images have been used in many adult and adolescent behavioral health environments to create those types of healing and positive effects for patients, visitors, and staff.
Choosing the right types of artwork for these environments is important.
And just as crucial is making sure the artwork is displayed safely. And that’s why we work with knowledgeable and experienced partners to make sure the focus is on the beauty and healing aspects of the artwork, not worrying about whether or not it’s been installed properly.
Whether it’s framed art or large environmental graphics, we have partners across the industry that understand the complexities of installing work that meets all safety standards for behavioral health environments. And as you can see from the images, they make sure the end result is soothing and stunning.
The pandemic has heightened the world’s awareness of the increasing need for mental health environments that support health and wellness. And being intentional about the design of these spaces, by including soothing nature photographs that blur the lines between the outdoors and the built environment, is essential to promoting true healing that can have positive effects on the care and recovery of all patients.