Facilities for children and young people’s mental health services need to accommodate a particularly diverse patient group. How do we do this well?
The difference in maturity from someone 4 vs. 18 is significantly different, far greater than throughout working-adult age: 18 to 65. How do we create an environment that feels appropriate for all in this age group?
• The size of furniture, and height of fixtures and fittings vary depending on age and size.
• At earlier ages, children may not need to be separated by gender, however separation becomes necessary at older ages, as they become aware of their own sexual identity.
• There are a diverse range of patients within children and young people’s mental health services with differing mental health needs. Learning disabilities vs. eating disorders, and acute vs. forensic services have quite different requirements, as do does the spectrum of neurodiversity and autism.
• How do we accommodate specific needs of this diverse group while retaining long term flexibility?
• Can we design something that caters for all needs without looking or feeling different?
• What is the right balance between dedicated facilities that address specific needs vs. shared facilities.
• How do we separate quite different patient groups within the same ward?