Designing for Behavioral Health: Terminology, dignity, and minimizing distraction

Stance Healthcare was proud to co-sponsor a recent webinar from The Center for Health Design on designing for Behavioral Health settings. In addition to providing timely insight into the many considerations that go into Behavioral Health facility planning, the presentation reinforced much of the “why” behind what we do to support these environments with our furniture. Below are key takeaways connecting to our Behavioral Health design approach here at Stance Healthcare:


  1. First things first: Understand and use correct terminology. Behavioral Health design requires an adherence to certain levels of compliance and safety precautions which are not factors in other healthcare settings. Specifically, facility planners must prioritize self-harm safeguards for every room in a BH facility. To this end, key terms like ligature-resistant (suicide-preventive), tamper-resistant (unable to be removed or altered), shatter-resistant (unable to be made into shards for self-harm), pick-proof (unable to be peeled back), and sealed (not able to be used to hide weapons or contraband) are frequent qualifiers for materials in a BH space, and must be readily accessible for both furniture designers and facility planners. Stance Healthcare’s Behavioral Health collections check all these boxes, and more.
  2. The ‘new’ approach to BH prioritizes dignity in the healing process. Mental and Behavioral Health treatment philosophy has evolved from the past era that conjures uncomfortable and, in some cases, inhumane experiences for patients – and advanced toward more therapeutic settings which are truly focused on the patient’s healing process. Dignity is a guiding principle behind Stance Healthcare’s BH design philosophy, and our award-winning Frontier collection showcases how we provide both comfort and pleasing aesthetics alongside durability and functionality. We take pride in designing innovative and intuitive furniture that anticipates the needs of Behavioral Health patients, caregivers, and visitors.
  3. Furniture, like anything else in a BH environment, shouldn’t be a distraction. In the effort to support a healing-oriented space, facility planners must select furnishings that encourage calm. The best way to do this? Choose furniture that isn’t loud – in color, in shape, or even in function. In other words, BH furniture should offer muted, non-distracting colors; simple, pleasing, and practical shapes; and straightforward function that serves a useful purpose for patients, and nothing more. Such considerations are what we had in mind for Stance Healthcare’s Frontier bed, with its discreet fluid removal features, and counterpart Frontier flip-style bedside table, which can accommodate approved personal items.

In this time of growing demand for Mental and Behavioral Health treatment environments, we are always appreciative of the opportunity to discuss best practices. Stay tuned to Stance Healthcare’s social media and blog for continued insights and BH product announcements throughout the year.

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