Mental health is the single biggest health issue facing young Australians, with 75% of mental health problems emerging before the age of 25. In an Australian first Woods Bagot and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, have embraced design principles that set out to stimulate the repair and restoration of a youth’s mental health.
The design of the Young Adults Private Mental Health Unit reinforces a healing environment with limited boundaries and flexible spaces, to create a refuge for young people at a time in their lives when mental health issues can arise for the first time.
Unseen in Australia, this is the first health unit to provide a centre that caters specifically for private mental health patients from 16 to 30 years of age.
The design promotes a non-threatening and open environment which reduces the need for this age group being admitted into adult facilities. The aspiration was to create calm surroundings that encourage a community feeling to inspire confidence.
Using a number of elements to create a series of spaces, the facility provides ‘hang out’ spaces for interaction, cocoon like individual ‘chill-out’ spaces and flexible spaces to promote a sense of familiarity and a ‘home away from home’. These flexible multi-functional spaces are set to be used for activities such as the production of art and music, meditation or dance, or spaces to simply relax.
Light and nature also play an important part within the interior architecture, promoting natural light to penetrate into the depths of the building while maximising views over the city. Bursts of vibrant colour promote a bright natural feeling around the facility.
In establishing this model of care through design, St.Vincent’s Hospital expect in the long run, to contribute to better recovery outcomes for individuals and to provide improved support for their families.
Read more about the project.