Future-proofing structural design of an acute mental health inpatient unit

Australas Psychiatry. 2023 Aug;31(4):466-468. doi: 10.1177/10398562231169125. Epub 2023 Apr 10.


Objective: The design of an acute mental health inpatient facility must enable the provision of safe and effective care in an environment that is therapeutic. To be able to do that, in addition to the fittings, light and general ambience, a future design of such a facility must consider how consumers are likely to access mental healthcare in the future, what aspects of care they are likely to find value-adding and how the inpatient aspect of their care is likely to be integrated within their care continuum.

Conclusions: The future design must anticipate how consumers are likely to access information, support, care and treatment, how workflows of staff are likely to change, how the diverse needs of mental health consumers will need to be accommodated and how the needs and expectations of staff will be met to enable them to provide support to mental health consumers. A future design of a mental health inpatient unit may have to be very different from the current thinking about the design of such facilities.

Keywords: Facility; design; health; inpatient; mental.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Mental Health*