Building collaborative cultures of care

within NSW mental health services

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Healthy and therapeutic environments

Well-designed environments can promote recovery in collaborative cultures. They do this by providing access to numerous resources for people with lived experience of mental health issues, enabling them to self-manage distress, moderate negative behaviours and reinforce strengths and hope for the future.22122

People with lived experience and their carers are well placed to provide insights and co-design environments that may affect their mental health and wellbeing. Healthy environments can refer to the built environment (such as natural light, calming colours), or sensory elements within the environment (such as sensory tools, lighting and noise).



There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest improvements to physical environments are associated with reductions in seclusion and restraint.2124-27

Environmental changes have been associated with changes in the nature of interactions between people with lived experience and staff as well as improved experiences of care for people with lived experience.7 However, environments alone have been found to have limited impact when they are not within a culture that is recovery oriented.22