5 Resources for Behavioral Health Designers

Behavioral Health design is a critical component of patient care that comes with its own set of challenges. Consideration must be given to the healing environment, populations served, current research and industry regulations. Below are some resources to help you get started on your next Behavioral Health design project:

Design for Mental and Behavioral Health

Design for Mental and Behavioral Health
By Mardelle McCuskey Shepley and Samira Pasha
This book summarizes design principles and design research for individuals who are intending to design new mental and behavioral health facilities and those wishing to evaluate the quality of their existing facilities. The authors discuss mental and behavioral health systems, design guidelines, design research and existing standards, and provide examples of best practices.

Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities
The Facility Guidelines Institute – By James M. Hunt and David M. Sine
This design guide provides fundamental design requirements for behavioral health facilities and helps providers and design teams develop physical environments that support safe and effective behavioral health services. It also includes best practices for protecting patients and staff.

Common Mistakes in Designing Psychiatric Hospitals
The Facility Guidelines Institute – By James M. Hunt and David M. Sine
This document addresses patient and staff safety concerns when designing behavioral health facilities, the general layout for psychiatric units, as well as the varying levels of precautions. It also includes a risk assessment matrix to use in the planning process.

Design Research and Behavioral Health Facilities
The Center for Health Design – By Mardelle M. Shepley and Samira Pasha
This document is focused on linking research to behavioral health design and summarizes research findings from over 115 articles. Ultimately the document provides design considerations and best practices for behavioral health facilities, as suggested by research results and experts in the field.

Mental Health Facilities
Department of Veterans Affairs
This design guide provides technical architectural and engineering specifications, as well as emphasizing principles and strategies for building state-of-the-art, recovery-oriented environments for mental health settings in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).