Presenter: Kimberly Wright, College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology, Interior Design
Authors: Kimberly Wright
Faculty Advisor: Kristen Arnold, College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology, Interior Design
Institution: Weber State University
Clear Thinking has obtained MarLon Hills Elementary School, which was originally planned to be torn down by the local school district, for their new mental health facility dedicated to helping teens overcome mental health challenges. As a former elementary school built in the 1960s, the building needs a lot of adjustments before it will be ready for use. While the main issue is reorganization of space, many aspects of the building will also need to be updated to fit teenagers and adults as opposed to child-sized equipment- namely, the restrooms. A focus should be placed on security of the building for the safety of the occupants, ideally while still maintaining a comfortable environment. While some patients will stop by during the day for individual appointments, others may be given the opportunity to stay overnight in an individual space to call their own for varying lengths of time as they heal and learn valuable coping mechanisms. As such, dormitories should be constructed to be customizable as having a sense of control can help reduce anxiety (Ulrich, 1991) (Payne et al., 2014). All one-on-one therapy sessions should be held in designated private consultation rooms; additional semi-private areas will be provided for impromptu check-ins between staff and patients. This is because “privacy [is] very important... for well-being centres” (Payne et al., 2014). The overall atmosphere of light and healing will be reinforced by the incorporation of nature, maximized natural light, and gentle acoustics (Ulrich, 1991) (Watts et al., 2016) (Payne et al., 2014).