There are several forces at play right now that are putting behavioral health projects on the front burner for many organizations.

“The economics, understanding, and science of behavioral healthcare is changing,” said Frank Murdock Pitts, founding partner and president of Architecture+ (Troy, N.Y.), who was named The Center for Health Design’s Changemaker during the 2018 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference this past November in Phoenix. “I think we’re in a moment where we’re about to change everything,” he said during the on-stage presentation.

Pitts has dedicated his career to the design of behavioral health environments and added that the evolution in thinking taking place now is allowing more patients to be identified and brought into treatment earlier. That, in turn, is creating demand for facilities that can treat and address the needs of a broader spectrum of patients at different stages in their care journey.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of this shift, as healthcare design teams and their provider partners are delivering a new generation of behavioral health environments. On the inpatient side, we’re seeing projects that thoughtfully include natural light and access to nature, comfortable residential finishes, and more control for patients. In the outpatient arena, projects include spaces that support integrated care teams so that primary care physicians can collaborate with behavioral health professionals and patient consults can be done immediately on-site.

Below, find recent articles from Healthcare Design that offer examples of the different solutions being introduced via design to transform behavioral health environments and support current care delivery trends.