Design in Mental Health: Meeting the challenges together

Whether you are looking at adding new buildings, considering refurbishing existing buildings or ongoing maintenance work Design in Mental Health 2016 is here to help you source information, solutions and ideas.

The event consists of the Design in Mental Health Network’s annual conference, awards dinner and an exhibition that showcases the latest product innovations designed to enhance mental health environments.

We all understand the need to create safe, effective therapeutic environments for mental health. But not everyone has the budget to build from scratch. Increasingly, NHS Trusts have to work within the constraints of existing buildings. And with more demand, and less money, than ever before, creativity and collaboration have never been more critical.

At Design in Mental Health, we bring together architects, mental health professionals from the NHS and the private sector, and – uniquely – service users themselves. But this more than just an opportunity to talk about the issues we face. Our ambition is to create the ultimate project team, with the skills, expertise, perspectives and insights to actually get things done – and create therapeutic environments that work for everyone.

Since its inception in 2013, Design in Mental Health has proved a real catalyst for change. Conversations between exhibitors, visitors, delegates and service users have sparked scores of new projects, products and partnerships. This year’s focus will be on innovation, refurbishments and making existing spaces fit for purpose, as well as new-build projects.

For the whole project team

Design in Mental Health brings together everyone involved in delivering therapeutic environments, now and for the future. The only event of its kind in the UK, its success is built on three key elements:

• The Exhibition is a unique marketplace where manufacturers and providers can meet decision-makers and specifiers, make new contacts, generate leads and new product ideas, and identify current and emerging opportunities in the mental health sector.

• This year’s Conference will feature over 40 speakers, with specialist content. Lively and authoritative, it’s THE professional gathering for everyone concerned with the built environment in mental health.

• The conversations between architects, contractors, mental health providers and service users, each bringing their unique insights and perspectives to creating effective therapeutic environments.

Conference sessions

Creating Healing Environments though Interior Design. Farnham Road Hospital: A Case Study by Mark Carter, PM Devereux & Sara Saunders, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. A holistic approach to design which considers internal spaces as an integral part of the architecture. Looking at how form, volume, light, colour texture and integration of artwork can create healing environments, choice of settings for the individual and assist wayfinding and orientation.

When service users’ needs and aspirations are placed at the heart of the design process, the results are spaces that are unique and individual, welcoming and supportive and residents with a strong sense of pride and ownership. Jane Willis, director of arts consultants Willis Newson, will look at the process, outcomes and impact of engaging service users in the design of two mental health units; Thames Lodge Medium Secure Unit for West London Mental Health Trust and St Andrew’s Healthcare’s FitzRoy House, the largest residential mental health facility for adolescents within Europe.

In both projects, the arts programme proved a potent vehicle for engaging service users, resulting in a vision, themes and naming strategies, interior design, artwork and imagery shaped by service users.

Shaping environments for the future – A look at Guernsey’s Mental Health Service by Andrew Street, IBI Group.

Atmospheres of the Ward: examining service-user experiences of space in a medium secure forensic psychiatry unit by Prof. Paula Reavey, London South Bank University.

Confirmed Speakers

• Jeff Bartle, head of design, St Andrew’s Healthcare • Stephanie Brada, P21+ development manager, Willmott Dixon

• Tom Cahill, chief executive, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust • Ian Callaghan, national service user lead, My Shared Pathway • Jacqui Dyer, vice chair, National Mental Health Task Force

• Stuart McArthur, health sector leader, Laing O’Rourke

• Sara Saunders, operations project manager, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

• Dr Faisil Sethi, consultant psychiatrist and NAPICU vice chair, National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NAPICU)

• Christopher Shaw, senior director, Medical Architecture

• Jane Willis, director, Willis Newson


With over 60 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and services on offer in Mental Health, the exhibition is your opportunity to source information, solutions and ideas for New Builds, refurbishments or ongoing maintenance.

Dinner & Awards

The Design in Mental Health Dinner & Awards will take place the evening of the first day of the Design in Mental Health Conference & Exhibition, 17 May 2016 at the National Conference Centre, Solihull. (Formerly known as the NMM).

The awards are an excellent opportunity to network with other delegates and exhibitors, and to continue discussing the day’s topics.

This year, courtesy of Knightsbridge Furniture, features Frank Bruno MBE, former WBC heavy weight champion as the after dinner speaker.

It is a black tie event starting with welcome drinks at 7pm in the Imperial & Trafalgar Suite at the National Conference Centre.

Golf Tournament

Taking place Monday 16 May at 1.30pm is the Design in Mental Health Golf Tournament. Attendees, speakers and exhibitors are invited to take part in this exciting fringe feature. Places are complimentary but limited and you need to be a registered attendee, confirmed exhibitor or a speaker to be eligible for a complimentary round of golf.

There is an individual stableford tournament as well as a fourball tournament. The fourball tournament will be the four individual stableford scores added up and then divided by 3. Prizes will also be given for the longest drive and nearest the pin.

The tournament is taking place at the Windmill Village Golf Course (close to the conference and exhibition venue). To book your place please send sarahworwood(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign) the following information – your name, organisation and golf handicap.