The Significance of Furniture in Behavioral Healthcare Settings

 September 16, 2023

By  Kyrie Mattos

Behavioral health, particularly mental health, has received more attention since the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, behavioral health facilities have expanded to accommodate more patients who need their services. The appropriate furniture for these centers has been a topic of discussion during the construction of these facilities for good reasons.

Role of Furniture in Behavior Health Settings

Behavioral health service practitioners know furniture plays a significant role in the treatment facility. First, the ideal furniture offers relaxation and safety. For example, a facility with residential-style furniture provides a comfortable and safe waiting area, making patients more willing to receive treatment. The best behavioral healthcare furniture could also have therapeutic effects. For instance, love-seats are an excellent choice for building trust in providers and boosting therapy session outcomes.

The right furniture creates a sense of normalcy, encouraging patients to seek treatment. Since sometimes patients pay attention to the institutional atmosphere of a healthcare facility, using the right furniture helps create familiarity and normalize therapy. This goes a long way toward achieving treatment goals.

Furniture could help create a sense of privacy, putting patients at ease. Healthcare providers can also benefit from specific furniture designs, such as crate furniture, which boosts patient engagement. Generally, the furniture helps distinguish a behavioral healthcare center from other treatment settings. More importantly, it helps destigmatize mental health by reducing negative stereotypes, promoting healing, and drawing people to seek treatment.

Furniture Considerations to Promote Behavioral Healthcare

Behavioral health-informed design recognizes the relationship between a patient’s environment and their healing. Furniture designs elicit an emotional response from the moment they walk in. Here are a few things to consider when selecting furniture for behavioral healthcare settings.

1. Floor Plan Design

Healthcare practitioners should work with their furniture suppliers to ensure the chosen furniture matches the floor plan. For instance, lounge chairs would be ideal if it’s a room intended for individual counseling sessions. They are patient-safe yet comfortable, creating a calming environment that helps meet patients’ needs.

2. Customization

Behavioral health facilities should invest in furniture that allows color, finishes, and arrangement customization. This adaptability is critical, considering that these healthcare settings deal with people of different ages, socioeconomic statuses, and demographics. Additionally, customizable furniture means that the configuration responds efficiently to changes in treatment approaches.

3. Durability

The furniture options chosen for behavioral healthcare settings must be durable to withstand high impact. Antimicrobial upholstery, pick-proof surfaces, and durable table tops will ensure these items last decades. Therefore, it is important to discuss with a furniture expert the durability of the preferred furniture types based on where the pieces will be used.

4. Safety

Safety is perhaps the most essential factor, considering that patients in behavioral healthcare settings might consider self-harm and suicide. Therefore, the ideal furniture should not have any removable parts, sharp edges, and no spaces that would allow patients to conceal objects. If the furniture has sharp edges and removable parts, some patients might consider using it to harm themselves or others. The leading furniture stores can always recommend quality and safe furniture for a a behavioral healthcare facility.

As behavioral healthcare centers grow, there is a need to invest in the right furniture to create a patient-safe, comfortable, and inviting environment. Healthcare practitioners must ensure they adapt furniture configurations to the ever-changing needs of patients. Doing so will require market research to help inform strategies. However, the right furniture will depend on factors such as age and patient risk level, so it is essential to work with furniture professionals. Ultimately, the final choice of furniture must balance comfort and safety to ensure the patients are safe and comfortable.

Kyrie Mattos


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