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.'”