Oct 9, 2021

Mental health in an unequal world

Clock View Hospital

Mental health in an unequal world.

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. We believe strongly that access to mental healthcare should be universal. We also believe that those receiving treatment, deserve to do so in a therapeutic environment that promotes wellbeing and recovery, regardless of who they are and where they live.

For many years, we have been working closely with NHS Trusts around the country to deliver services to the areas they are most needed, creating facilities that set the standard in design for mental health.

Rose Lodge in Hebburn, is named after local resident, Rose Hedley, who led a 20-year campaign for community access to much-needed mental health support in her local area of South Tyneside, which is amongst the 10% most deprived local authority districts in the UK. Rose Lodge is a 12-bed specialist short-term inpatient assessment and treatment centre for working-age adults with a range of learning disabilities and mental health problems. The building provides a therapeutic environment that supports and enhances healing, whilst ensuring that staff can work effectively. A number of activity areas allow patients, visitors and staff to interact whilst offering other spaces, such as quiet rooms and patient bedrooms for individual contemplation and privacy. This is all set around a central courtyard and garden which provides secure access to outdoor space and focal views to nature.

Clock View Hospital is another example of a facility which delivered much needed improvements to mental healthcare provision in a more deprived area of the country. Situated in North Liverpool, the hospital has been a catalyst for the general regeneration of the area. Landscaped ecological gardens at the entrance to the building connect the hospital with the local community and private garden spaces provide a therapeutic setting for recovery.

Access to mental health is not just a UK concern, but a worldwide issue, particularly in developing countries. In 2016 we were commissioned by Partners In Health (PIH) — a Boston-based US NGO — to masterplan a 309-bed acute referral and teaching hospital in Eastern Liberia, and to design the first phase for 150 inpatients. Our shared agenda is one of social justice whereby everyone, regardless of income or location, should have equal access to high quality healthcare. The new hospital will be the third of three tertiary hospitals in the country, in one of its most remote and neglected parts. It will serve a largely dispersed rural population of 625,000 and will have a particular focus on innovations in the treatment of mental health for a deeply traumatised population.

Though there are others, these three projects, at very different scales and in different locations, are representative of our commitment to achieving greater equality in mental health.

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