“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.