A New Tool in Treating ‘Mental Illness’: Building Design


From The New York Times: “For decades, psychiatric hospitals were grim settings where patients were crowded into common rooms by day and dorms at night. But new research into the health effects of our surroundings is spurring the development of facilities that feel more residential, with welcoming entrances, smaller living units within larger buildings and a variety of gathering spaces. Nature plays a big role: Windows provide views of greenery, landscapes decorate walls, and outdoor areas give patients and staff access to fresh air and sunlight.

The new approach, promoted as healing and therapeutic, has produced environments that are more calming and supportive. And it feels particularly timely, given the surge in mental health issues created by the pandemic.

‘We’ve been talking about this for a really long time,’ said Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, the chair of the department of design and environmental analysis in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology. ‘It’s only now that it’s gaining momentum.'”

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  1. I wonder if any of the architects decided to approximate patients’ experiences in a mental institution by walking around in one while under the influence of hallucinogens. It’s not that unusual- a chap name Kiyo Izumi spent time in the old Saskatchewan institution at Weyburn, while under the influence of LSD, to see how the patients experienced the place. This is before he designed one of North America’s first new hospitals in Yorkton, Saskatchewan

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  2. I wonder if they put a legal office within that building.
    I mean after all, this building and it’s employees are operating
    under false pretenses. The operation is unconstitutional and
    uses no science at all, yet operates as if it does.
    All diagnosis are nothing more than naming distress or feelings, or behaviour.
    THAT is not medical so no “medications” can be made to fix it. And it cannot be
    called “mental health”, because there is no “health” from the drugs, in fact great
    unhealth and death results.
    So it is a building that promotes false information and false treatments.

    However, if you made a building like this to be co-owned by survivors, perhaps
    real change could happen for those new people coming in to check out the

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  3. “Nature plays a big role: Windows provide views of greenery, landscapes decorate walls”

    A window on freedom is not freedom. And pictures of nature are not nature.

    Even if they were though it’d still be a bad idea…I mean what do they think is going to go on with those pictures when the cleaning crew comes around?

    After all, we all know that nature abhors a vacuum….

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