Jane Margolies in the New York Times reports on a new wave of facilities to address mental health patients in which the building is designed to contribute to the treatment. A number of features are highlighted in the article. These include connections to nature both in decor and in access to the outdoors which have been shown to have a positive impact on physical well being and stress. Also noted are the contributions of features such as single rooms, multiple common rooms, and large hallways to provide sufficient space for patients so they do not feel closed in or crowded. Balancing the need to keep the physical environment safe while also allowing patients some control over their settings through features such as patient adjustable lights and HVAC settings is also important.
These features deemed important to create settings to promote mental health may also be those that can be used to support growth and learning. Placing individuals in such settings may facilitate learning, particularly when used in conjunction with other learning resources and opportunities.