Building collaborative cultures of care

within NSW mental health services

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Therapeutic environments

People with lived experience of mental health issues co-design physical spaces, where possible. Even if significant changes to the built environment are impossible, people with lived experience participate in improvement activities related to service design.

In practice

  • Co-designing safety plans that provide options for self-management and sensory moderation.
  • Providing homelike calming environments where possible, including artworks and natural light.
  • Providing social environments to support recovery, for example, enabling access to social networks via mobile phone, extended (24/7) visiting hours and social spaces, such as barbeque areas and activity spaces.
  • Giving options about how much technology is available, for instance to minimise disturbances during periods of calm or rest.
  • Providing sensory resources to support people with lived experience when they encounter heightened distress, such as music, white noise players, weighted blankets, dark spaces or natural light.
  • Creating private spaces for people to sit alone and with loved ones.


Introducing mobile phones for consumer use in an acute mental health inpatient unit

Promoting access to mobile phones in mental health inpatient units enabling consumers to remain connected to their lives.

Healthy and therapeutic environments