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Article   |    
Improving Psychiatric Environments Through Minimal Architectural Change
Silvio Gutkowski; Yigal Ginath; Flor Guttmann
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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Talbieh Mental Health Center, P.O. Box 39, Jerusalem, Israel 91000

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Minimal architectural changes in a treatment environment can lead to significant improvements in bow the setting functions, with positive effects for staff patients, and families. When a mental health center located in an antiquated hospital in Jerusalem added five additional entrances, the change improved accessibility, increased the sense of freedom, and helped define the identity of the units. Other therapeutic effects were obtained from minimal modifications in a day hospital unit, including brightening paint and changing lighting, reopening a separate stairway for use by patients not enrolled in the day unit, and defining separate living, dining, and personal-expression areas within the common room. The authors note that cooperation between the disciplines of architecture and psychiatry is essential and that the idea of change as a continuous process should be incorporated into an organization's culture.

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