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Speakers at the mhdf forum

Addressing the most current and pressing subjects through our CPD-certified seminars.

Speakers at the mhdf 2019

“Healing Environments: a service-user perspective on the factors that truly support recovery”

Katharine Lazenby, Mental Health Trainer, Peabody Housing Association

As a former psychiatric inpatient I will be drawing on my lived experience to highlight the impact the physical environment in mental health treatment and support settings has on the wellbeing of service users. I will look at how such spaces can provide a more positive patient experience, truly reflect service users’ needs and thus support rather than undermine the progress of recovery.

Reflecting on my journey from patient to mental health trainer, a role in which I am able to use my experiences to educate and guide professionals working in care and support services, I will share the impact being treated as a collaborator and expert by experience has had on my own recovery. A passionate advocate for service user involvement at all stages of the design and delivery of mental health services, I will be emphasising that the impact of co-production is far-reaching and profound.

“Better product decisions for those designing and building mental health facilities”

Philip Ross, Board Director – Testing & Innovation Lead, Design in Mental Health Network (DIMHN)

Design in Mental Health Network (DIMHN) has a simple goal—to make mental health environments better for patient recovery and safer for staff.  There is a lack of independent test guidance or testing for the challenges mental health environments present.  The Network has spent the past 5 years developing a series of testing methods specifically for this sector of design and construction.

This presentation will discuss some of the common challenges witnessed which were used to develop the testing methods – with a focus on ligature performance and robustness. 

Review key areas of risk within mental health environments and lessons learned about managing risk in reality.

“The value of the external environment towards good mental health”

Jeremy Parker, Director, Fira.

The Landscape’s ability to generate proactive engagement between people and their surroundings, especially the calming hand of nature, is particularly evident when designing spaces for those with mental health or behavioural issues.

Jeremy will explore the importance of working closely with client and design teams, to provide holistic design solutions that take into account all the complexities associated with different mental and emotional illnesses from dementia to personality disorders, and the specialised care they each need.

The often vulnerable and sensitive nature of these patient groups, requires space where everyone, including those in care, staff and visitors feels safe and secure. The external environment can be integral to this and factors, such as colour, sound and natural light, can contribute to positive behavioural outcomes; while a focus on incorporating nature and art can be used for therapy and reflection to reduce levels of stress.

Increasingly, these principles are being taken into non-clinical sectors to aid mental health in the wider built environment.

Anke Jakob, Lecturer & Research Fellow – Design School, Kingston University.

Matthew Balaam, Partner, Oxford Architects.

Limited complimentary places available