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Embracing Innovation to Transform Mental Healthcare Facilities

Embracing Innovation to Transform Mental Healthcare Facilities

Awareness around the importance of good mental health is at an all-time high – but so is demand. To best deliver the next generation of mental health facilities, innovative approaches to patient care alongside a digital-led design ethos must be embraced. The evidence is already emerging, says healthcare architect Charles Stokes.

We are witnessing a revolution in the way mental healthcare provision is delivered across the island of Ireland. New holistic care models, based around central tenets of therapy and recovery rather than isolation and institutionalisation, are informing the design and location of pioneering new facilities, helping to destigmatise mental health.

Increasingly, innovative design methods are underpinning the delivery of these new secondary care facilities, where digital tools are leveraged to create award-winning environments that are both inclusive and nurturing, yet robust enough to ensure the safety of both patients and staff – a delicate balance to strike.

This course draws on AECOM’s experience of delivering some of these new healthcare facilities – from acute services to forensic mental care and children’s support units – to demonstrate how a digital-led approach can improve delivery, increase operational effectiveness and support the person-centred care model being rolled out across the island of Ireland.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Understand the prevalence of mental health problems in the EU 
  2. Identify the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of individuals with existing mental health issues
  3. Understand the importance of socio-economic cost benefit analysis in measuring the impact of improved environments and reduced risks to staff and patients
  4. Understand the benefits of designing mental health care facilities digitally and the use of digital twinning to link physical assets to a digital representation
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