Architects Step Up & Change Mental Health

Posted on 
13 Jun 2022
Architects Step Up & Change Mental Health
Article by
October 1, 2019

With a growing focus on Mental Health care facilities in WA, SPH Architecture + Interiors are front and centre in the fight to combat how we care for and manage after care for patients suffering from mental health illness.

SPH Architecture + Interiors have been and are involved in all facets of Mental Health illness architecture and design. Working with a triangle of care approach working collaboratively in co-design with careers, consumers and clinicians.

The design team understand the complexity of mental illness in people’s lives and how it is everchanging. With this it is important SPH design team always have the patient’s recovery journey in mind. This has created important change through design as SPH travel the path from Community Support + Treatment, working on the Butler Community Mental Health facility, to Community Bed-Based facilities with the Bunbury Step-Up Step-Down project.The Bunbury Step Up, Step Down facility provides emotional support and assistance to people in the community of Bunbury and surrounding country areas. Acting as a half-way house between full Mental Health inpatient services and home. Residents of the facility choose to attend on a voluntary basis for support and are encouraged to remain engaged and move freely with the community, family and friends whilst being supported by the facility and staff, in a “home away from home”.

SPH architecture + interiors forged a strong collaboration with the Mental Health Commission and Department of Communities to provide a built space and landscaping design based on the notion of individual, shared and community space for the residents.The designs consideration of the space was to allow the temporary residents to feel a sense of belonging and support to regain their sense of self whilst providing the ability to retreat and recuperate as required.

The facility provides:

  • 10 x Sole Occupancy Units (SOU), one of which is designed to allow those with disabilities or parenting needs to be catered for.
  • Communal space with a community kitchen, dining and lounge space as well as multi-purpose room for creative activities and yoga.
  • Administration building for the new Operator, Richmond Wellbeing to welcome residents and visitors.
  • Thoughtfully designed landscaping by CAPA landscape architects in connection with SPH reinforces the notion of individual, shared and community spaces with native plantings of trees shrubs and activity spaces such as a ½ Basketball Court, BBQ area and outdoor fire “pit”.

Key throughout the design was how a person would perceive and navigate the spaces to feel embraced, nurtured and have a full sense of calmness.

Step Up. Step Down is one of many facilities SPH Architecture + Interiors are working on with a true and genuine hope to change the experience had by in patients to encourage use of the services that no longer have an unwelcoming clinical feel.

For more information on this project, images or interviews please contact Amanda Houghton: Mango PR: 0418908350:

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