The Mary Bridge Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit at Tacoma General Hospital is the only one of its kind in Pierce County. The 27-bed inpatient unit serves the unique needs of adolescents between 13 and 18 years of age with 24-hour inpatient care and a therapy curriculum designed around the individual needs of the patient. To meet the growing demand of behavioral health needs of the community, this facility provides access to adolescents and their families in mental health crisis.
The Clark/Kjos Architects (CKA) team, consultants, health system care team, and construction manager participated in a rigorous Lean workshop. CKA summarized the most current research – a literature search of more than 100 articles pertaining to Behavioral Health Facility Environmental Factors – which can be summarized by three categories of the environment:
• Physical: Functional spaces for sufficient and varied activity and consultation
• Social: Spaces that promote positive behaviors
• Symbolic: Signals of trust, collaboration, refuge and respect
This information served as confirmation to all involved that the ideas that were brought forward by the group were in alignment with current research.
Each space is designed to reflect the dignity and respect for unique needs of each patient throughout their care journey. The use of specialized products to keep patients and staff safe were imperative in this environment, but by creating a sense of normalcy and inspiration through daylight, soft forms, color and open space, the design creates a positive environment for therapy and healing.