OHAC uses cookies to give you the best experience on our websites. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as described in this Privacy Policy. Click here to remove this message.

Design for mental health - housing design guidelines

New housing design guidelines have recently been launched (November 2016) by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Housing Agency to promote independent living and mental health recovery for people living with mental health conditions. The guidelines identify ways in which homes can be designed in order to promote independent living by, maximising functionality and minimising barriers so that persons with mental health conditions can feel empowered to live in their own homes and communities with additional supports where appropriate.

The guidance is aimed at those involved in providing housing for people with mental health conditions including Architects/design professionals, local authorities, health service professionals, housing bodies, occupational therapists the service user themselves and their families. The guidance is broken into 4 sections:

Section 1 - Overview, which outlines the following;

Section 2 – Addressing specific needs, focuses on the specific barriers to independent living for persons with mental health issues which can be improved by good design. Six issues are identified and discussed in detail where the difficulty observed and a design response is outlined. The six issues are:

Section 3 – spaces within the home, which identifies specific areas within the home and describes the principles required from the space including key considerations and design recommendations. For example, entrances, hallways and stairs, living areas, kitchens, bathrooms etc. are all discussed in detail.

Section 4 – design detail, focusses on the detail design elements of housing design for persons with mental issues including a chapter on windows and natural light, heating, ventilation, colour, contrast and surface finishes, fire safety, Assistive technology etc. and practical design guidance is given in the recommendations section.

For further details in relation to the Design for Mental Health housing design guidelines click here.

To find out more on how OHAC can assist you to improve the accessibility of your housing design, meeting the specific needs of the end user, or for advice on housing adaptations please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on 01 – 4151285 or e-mail [email protected].