What role does color play in your facility?

Color is something that is always present around us, but have you ever thought about how it could be taken for granted? Now step inside a behavioral health facility, and the walls and furniture are monochromatic, drab, and you might feel your mood being affected negatively. The absence of color in a behavioral health facility may actually seem contradicting, considering the main goals of these facilities are to help and uplift their patients. If patients are not in an environment they feel comfortable and safe in, then their progress may be delayed. Further, there is no reasoning to restrict the use of color in these facilities.

The effects of color in your facility.

Anti-ligature and other types of institutional furniture are made for specific purposes, and sometimes facilities don’t think beyond that. The effect of the absence of color in patient’s lives is often not taken into consideration. Research indicates color helps in the healing process for those with behavioral healthcare conditions. The colors in behavioral healthcare facilities or correctional institutions can help patients struggling with issues such as depression. Therefore, the color of psychiatric furniture, correctional facility furniture, and other institutional furniture should be taken into consideration.

Of course, some patients can be overstimulated by color, which is something that should be avoided when choosing the hues of behavioral healthcare furniture. Consequently, short term spaces have more allowance for bright and stimulating colors, while areas used most often, such as bedrooms, should still maintain less bright, and more cool color tones. Colors in these facilities should mirror the colors found in nature in order to help patients’ transition with ease when re-entering society.

Designing calm, comfortable spaces.

When designing space for positive outcomes, the following principles must all work together in these facilities: 

  1. Access to Nature: Colors found in nature have the most effective outcome on staff and patients. Nature’s influence has the most powerful impact on human equilibrium, stress reduction and patient recovery.
  2. Providing Positive Distractions: When provided with positive distractions, patients are less focused on the difficulties they are facing. These positive distractions can include pops of bright colors like orange and yellow, and even the presence of a game table in order to keep patients occupied and joyful.
  3. Providing Social Support Spaces: Soft and welcoming furniture should be utilized in spaces where patients are coming together to share their experiences and healing.
  4. Giving a Sense of Control: There are a few ways in which behavioral health facilities can offer patients a sense of control. These include private rooms and personal rooms to reside in, along with furniture that can be moved around.
  5. Reducing or Eliminating Environmental Stress: Design based on harmony, familiarity and humanity reduce environmental stress for patients and allow them a comfortable environment for healing.

As a result, color in correctional and mental health facilities is now being used to harmonize, dignify and visually soften harsh, institutional settings. Color provides a distraction against stress which is something all patients need. Therefore, by incorporating these naturalistic colors in facilities, patients have a greater chance of healing and connecting to the outside world than they did before.

Max-Secure offers our anti-ligature furniture in a variety of colors based on the needs and requests of each individual facility. We have simple colors in stock such as beige and gray, but we also offer green, blue, as well as a purple tone. These are all colors that are found in nature and can be calming to behavioral health patients. Not only does Max-Secure manufacture beds which are found in every facility, we also offer additional resident and dining furniture in these color options.

The Endura Series Wall Mounted Desk also comes in the option to be corner mounted, and provides additional seating and comfortability in a cold, stark resident room. Another accessory option is the  Estilo Series Nightstand, which is actually available in even more colors depending on the facility’s needs. These include teal, black, and even orange. Although these colors may be too stimulating for some faculties, they can be used for patients who suffer from depression and lethargy.  Max-Secure’s Estilo Dining and Game Tables are also available in additional colors that resemble colors found in nature such as yellow and sky blue. Since these tables are usually found in common spaces and not in resident rooms, it is a better option to choose a bright color since these will only be used sometimes by residents.

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