Title: A Haven of Hope
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, College Hill Behavioral Health Center
Pediatric health leader expands mental health services for children and teens with building designed to inspire hope and healing.
Modern life bombards us with stressors. Coping with it can be especially difficult for children and teens, especially those with pre-existing behavioral health issues. When children and youth need services to help them manage a mental illness or life crisis, they need a supportive behavioral health framework.
We worked with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to redesign the set of therapy parameters known as the midpoint. These are the spaces where patients will spend most of their time, participating in group therapy, guided activities, free time, and other therapies. The design of the building was influenced by the location and diversity of the environment of the units and their role as shared resources and destinations. The design emphasizes meaningful environments that mimic the movement of a day, such as changing classes at school. The spaces incorporate positive distractions and allow for different behaviors, such as walking, rocking or self-expression; built-in benches and nooks allow patients to comfortably occupy the edges of a room. The new building will also feature a greater variety of shared spaces, including the family resource center and cafe, to provide more opportunities for families to support their child or teen during treatment.
In addition to outpatient services, private inpatient rooms are grouped into “sleep wings” for each unit and can be closed during the day when patients engage in a variety of therapies.
Connecting to nature is an important aspect of any healthcare environment. The new building will have a softness – materials and shapes that evoke a sense of nature, rounded edges, abundant light and landscape views are used to encourage visitors to linger and find a haven of hope and healing.