The past 30 years has produced growing documentation of the numerous health benefits of nature. While this has reduced the demand for “proof” of the value of green space in healthcare settings, there remains a critical need for research that focuses on the design elements that can best serve specific patient populations.
In the United States, nearly one in five adults live with a mental illness, and only half are estimated to receive treatment. An increased demand for psychiatric facilities coincides with a changing philosophy regarding the treatment of mental illness. As the mindset shifts from one of storage to one of rehabilitation, access to nature is an essential element to constructing truly healing environments. Unfortunately, very little research focuses on the design of outdoor spaces for behavioral health facilities. Therefore, this project seeks to:
Create empathy for and understanding of mental health disorders and their symptoms;
Present guidelines that contain the context and reasoning behind their recommendations; and,
Provide research that supports and increases the efficiency of design decisions that improve the lives of patients and staff.
View the full report here.