Mental Health Awareness

mental health awareness month
May is mental health awareness month. A mental illness is a condition affecting the brain that causes severe disturbances in thinking, feeling, and relating. People with a mental illness often have difficulty dealing with daily life. Mental illnesses include Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Attack, Alzheimer’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, Schizophrenia and more. #RethinkingMentalHealth #GoGreen

News and Articles on Mental Health

blue construction drawing rolled up

Architecture concepts can boost mental health

Do you or someone you know suffer from a mental illness? During National Public Health Week recently, we were reminded that most Americans do. Architects are rethinking how their building ...
protesters for autism advocacy

The Battle For The Future Of Autism Advocacy

The combined third/fourth grade classroom at Seattle’s Academy for Precision Learning (APL) is humming with activity. An inclusion-based private school created in 2007 to meet the needs of autistic children in ...
illustration of autistic people

Beautiful minds, wasted

IN AMERICA in 1970 one child in 14,000 was reckoned to be autistic. The current estimate is one in 68—or one in 42 among boys. Similarly high numbers can be ...
Dillan Barmache using Apple Tablet

Apple shares new short film on autism proves that accessibility features matter

Apple has released a new pair of videos on its YouTube channel highlighting the effect that technology has on people with disabilities. The video, called “Dillan’s Voice,” features a teenager ...
hands holding stop watches infographic

Outthinking Dementia

I first realized it the day my father asked me which number came between 3 and 5. He had been living alone for a while in another state and I ...
interface of dementia friendly home app

New app to create dementia-friendly home

Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria has launched a new app providing carers with ideas to make their home more accessible for people living with dementia ...
colorful furniture and carpeting in a room designed for autism

How To Design For Autism

Problem: many autistic kids are super sensitive to the sight, sound, and feel of their environment. So when New York-Presbyterian decided to build an early intervention center for autistic children, ...
product design incorporating fragrance

New Food Scented Fragrance May Remind People with Dementia to Eat

The sense of smell is closely tied to memory, a fact that designers made use of when they developed Ode, a fragrance disperser designed to help people with dementia remember ...
dr hans asperger sitting down with children

The Early History of Autism in America

A surprising new historical analysis suggests that a pioneering doctor was examining people with autism before the Civil War ...
bathroom designed for dementia

Bathroom design with dementia in mind

Dr. Birgit Dietz explains the background thoughts in the development of the age and dementia-sensitive washbasin, which she designed together with HEWI. She is a visiting lecturer in the Hospital ...
interior view of mary free bed ymca

YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Aims to Make the Mary Free Bed YMCA the First Building in the World to have Universal Design Certification

“Our community is embarking on the remarkable mission of building the first health and wellness facility in the world specifically designed to equally serve both able-bodied individuals   as well as ...
silverware for people with dementia by eatwell

Silverware For People With Dementia By Eatwell Is Tailor Made For Impairments Caused By The Disease

Although many people associate dementia primarily with memory loss, those who have lost loved ones to the condition know that dementia can transform everyday tasks into major hurdles. Inspired by ...
elder woman and child

Integrating social activities for seniors in communities improves mental health and overall well-being

Most people believe that their memory and cognition are going to decline as they grow older. Dementia is so widespread today that many adults now believe it's just a normal ...
Arturo Martinez watches his wife, Aurora Martinez, put on makeup in their San Rafael, Calif., home. She has Alzheimer's.

Can Technology Ease The Burden Of Caring For People With Dementia?

A doctor I interviewed for this story told me something that stuck with me. He said for every person with dementia he treats, he finds himself caring for two patients ...
smart watch

Smartwatches and apps can make life easier for children with autism or ADHD

Researchers believe that children with autism or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can benefit from technologies originally developed for older people. Welfare technology has long been associated with helping older people ...
the word autism with its letters written with chalk of different colors

Opening the Classroom Door for Children with Autism

We can all probably remember how we were taught to swim. Some of us had parents who took us to swimming lessons in a safely constructed pool at the local ...
exterior view of playground at Australia’s Northern School for Autism

‘Design empathy’ builds inclusive spaces for people with autism

Fluorescent lights. A wall painted bright yellow. A smoke detector that keeps beeping through a meeting. These are things that you might encounter in an office or a classroom without ...
adult and older adult shoppers at the entrance of supermarket

The Amazing Village in The Netherlands Just for People with Dementia

Located in The Netherlands town of Weesp is a special gated village called Hogeweyk. It is notable because it has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly ...
waiting room in healthcare setting

Designing the Future of Integrated Behavioral Health

Behavioral health covers a wide range of settings which may include psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units in the general hospital environment, alcohol and addiction treatment facilities, behavioral health clinics, and emergency ...
The playful exterior of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care. Image ©Jeff Goldberg/ESTO. All rights reserved

Behavioral health design

Each year, five to seven percent of U.S. adults have serious mental illnesses, which commonly include social phobia, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, ...
panic button

How mental health patients can help design out stress

I recently attended a conference on the design of mental health facilities. TheDesign in Mental Health Network (DiMHN), which organised the event, is a social enterprise that aims to bring together ...
depressed boy

Focus on Children’s Mental Health Research at the NICHD

Children's health and human development includes more than just physical and physiological changes. Mental and emotional health and well-being are as important to a child's development. Such factors as exposure ...
exterior view of Advance Special Needs Education Center in Cairo

Designing Buildings for Children With Autism

Can we design a building that makes life easier for people with autism? A place where autistic children can learn more easily and develop with less stress? According to architect ...
graphic of mental health

Mental Health in Architecture School: Can the Culture Change?

The Graduate Architecture, Landscape, and Design Student Union (GALDSU) at the University of Torontorecently published the results of its first mental health survey, which asked students to reflect on their ...
Fallingwater

Building a better world: can architecture shape behaviour?

In 1966, a British planner called Maurice Broady came up with a new term for the architectural lexicon: architectural determinism. This was to describe the practice of groundlessly asserting that ...
student wellness and recreation center at georgia college and state university

Welcome to the Wellness Center: A New Breed of Recreation Design

Until recently, student health and counseling services have predominantly been offered independently of athletics and recreation. But as institutions contemplate a more unified approach to health and wellness, the boundaries ...
The common room at the Ostra psychiatric care facility in Gothenburg

Designing for Calm

IT should come as no surprise that violence in mental health facilities causes psychological and often physical harm to health care workers and patients. What’s shocking is how prevalent it ...
senior home

Senior settings

A facility that is properly constructed to meet the needs of a patient also serves as an integral part of patient care. If the facility is less than an optimal ...

Interior Design Use in Alleviating Depression and Anxiety

At the former dialysis center for Logan Regional Hospital in Logan, Utah, I saw patients attached to blood cleansing machines for hours, something they had to do two to three ...
older woman interacting with a music memory box

Personalized Music Memory Box for People with Dementia

Chloe Meineck designed this Music Memory Box after studying the way that familiar music can help people with dementia connect with memories of their past. Meineck worked closely with her ...
wounded warriors home

Homes for ‘Wounded Warriors’ Designed with Help of UB Architect

Architect Danise Levine of the University at Buffalo has completed design work with the Wounded Warrior Home Project, which will finish construction on two houses for wounded veterans today (Nov ...
Left: River Street School Right: Sunfield's Rowan and Oak House

Designing for Autism: Spatial Considerations

Last week we looked at the different sensory sensitive approaches to lighting design for autism.  We saw how contradictory recommendations have arisen from a lack of reliable research specific to ...
active design guidelines

Your city should be your greatest ally in health and well-being

Growing out of our authorship and implementation of the NYC Active Design Guidelines, our healthy living guiding principles match the Mayor’s commitment to create a built environment that adds to ...