Mental Health Furniture
Furniture for mental health facilities and challenging
environments, will need to be able to withstand the strains that come with
challenging behaviour and also adhere to regulations in place for mental health
units. The furniture will need to accommodate individuals with vastly different
needs and will have different performance levels than ordinary furniture.
Choosing the right kind of furniture and seating solutions can help create a
safe, calming, and therapeutic environment, thus aiding patient recovery. Some
key attributes to consider when choosing mental health furniture include:
When selecting furniture for mental health units, the first
and most important consideration is patient and caregiver safety. Patients with
severe mental health issues like clinical depression or schizophrenia may have
serious thoughts of self-harm. Those with other issues like autism disorders
can be prone to anger outbursts and so it will be important to avoid furniture
that can be used to cause harm. This means no sharp edges or removable parts.
It is also be best to provide open shelving rather than cabinets with drawers
and doors which might be more easily removed or disconnected. There should also
be no ligature points on the provided furniture, which means chairs should be
armless or with closed arm panels. Depending on the environment, furniture with
no concealment areas will eliminate the possibility for hiding contraband.
Additionally, all furniture for challenging environments
will need to comply with all relevant fire retardant requirements. Hospitals
and healthcare will require upholstery which is at Crib 5 Testing level, while
secure environments such as prisons and high hazard areas will require
upholstery tested to the higher Crib 7 Test level.
Hygiene is a prime consideration for all healthcare
environments. The materials on your reinforced furniture should be able to
resist the spread of germs and the growth of bacteria. For seating upholstery,
there are multiple anti-microbial upholstery vinyls on the market which are
specifically designed to resist bacteria and microbial growth.
Robust Furniture – Built for Strength
It's not uncommon for patients and users to cause damage to their
surroundings, including equipment and furnishings. Ensuring that you are
equipped with tough furniture that won't easily damage will be important.
Standard domestic and some commercial furniture is usually made from chipboard
or similar low-impact materials, and these are likely to perform far less
robustly in these challenging environments. Materials like melamine-faced MDF
are better suited for challenging environment furniture, especially when
reinforced by solid timber. Another element to ensuring furniture can't be
pushed over or lifted is to add weight to make the units heavy.
Easy to Clean Furniture
Cleaning protocols for any healthcare environment is usually
very stringent. In mental health settings, physical and mental health go
hand-in-hand, and one can affect or cause the other to worsen. For instance,
patients may leave bodily fluids on furnishings and so you will need furniture
that can be cleaned quickly and doesn't allow germs to hide or linger. Smooth
surfaces such as wipe-clean vinyl upholstery will enable staff to wipe down
each piece, thus mitigating the risk of exposure to germs.
Target Comfortable Furniture with Increased Support
The comfort of patients and users is vital in mental health
settings as it will increase relaxation and reduces the risk of fatigue,
restlessness, pain, and irritability. Foam furniture, including foam chairs and
foam cubes, provide body support while sitting, and have no hard edges. Bariatric
chairs may be required for bariatric users, to provide adequate support and
Extreme Furniture That Is Tamper Resistant
The right mental health furniture should discourage or
prevent users from tampering with elements of the furniture. One solution is to
bolt seating units to the floor so as not to be lifted. Additionally, fasteners
should be tamper-resistant and there shouldn't be any exposed staples or other
catch points on the furniture.
Provide Personal Space
Residents in a behavioural health facility can have the need
for more personal space than those in the average hospital. Chairs and tables
should be able to be moved apart so they can be rearranged as the clientele
changes or in case of emergencies. You can incorporate ganged seating or use
tables as spacers between seating.
When healthcare facilities are visually stimulating, with an
interesting use of colour and design, patients feel alive, which can assist in an
uplift in overall wellbeing and speed up the healing process. By choosing relevant
colourful upholstery for furniture, the tone and feel of a healthcare environment
There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing
mental health furniture. Our robust, reinforced chairs have been designed to
maximize safety, provide support and comfort, and promote physical and
emotional well-being. They are also durable and reduce replacement cycles.
Contact us today for your special need furniture.