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Housing Design Guidelines launched to assist those living with persistent mental health conditions

Published: Friday, December 09, 2016

Design For mental Health

The Housing Agency together with the HSE launched first of its kind design guidelines for those providing accommodation for people living with certain persistent mental health conditions. This is the first time any such design guidelines targeting this cohort of the population have been produced anywhere in the world. The Housing Agency and the HSE have drawn together best practice in home design for people living with enduring and life altering mental health conditions into design guidelines to help facilitate independent living.

The guidelines can be used by anyone supporting those living with mental health conditions (e.g. health care professionals, architects, designers, builders, families, individuals, Local Authorities, Housing Bodies, etc). The aim is to help overcome some of the obstacles to and reduce the amount of assistance required for a person with a persistent mental health condition to maintain and run their home so they can live independently.

The Design for Metal Health - Housing Design Guidelines is available here.

Some recommendations included in the guidelines are:

  • Maximizing daylight, reducing noise exposure in the built environment (all of which can exacerbate mental health issues if not designed into homes)
  • Ensuring natural elements such as plants and views of the natural environment from windows (can reduce stress and diminish cognitive fatigue)
  • Low maintenance accommodation and gardens (reducing need for additional support)
  • Monitored smoke, gas, heat, CO2 detector alarms and also controls with audio and touch based clues for ease of use
  • Use of appliances that are undemanding and straightforward to operate e.g one action to turn on and off
  • Ensuring homes are located in diverse, active communities close to essential amenities and support services

Categories: Architecture


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