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31
Jul

Mental health project wins international award


A project put into action by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust has earned itself the title of Best International Mental Health Project at the Design & Health Awards, held early in July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A project put into action by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust has earned itself the title of Best International Mental Health Project at the Design & Health Awards, held early in July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Paul Yeomans, associate at Medical Architecture, said the project presentation, as well as the award, “was very well received by all at the conference and there was a lot of interest.”

The project involves a facility named Ferndene, a specialist building to bring togetherchildren and young people’s mental health and learning disability services for the first time in the UK.

Medical Architecture in a project briefing said: “It is a 40 bedroom residential centre for those aged 4-18 years and combines a number of existing, outdated dispersed services, filling a gap in a national shortage of appropriate facilities for children with challenging behaviours in the north east of England.”

The award for Best International Mental Health Project is given to a mental health facility where an effective reconciliation between issues of security and perceived ‘openness’ are evident and where the operational need for supervision does not overwhelm the imperative to provide a civilising and humane setting to support therapeutic intervention.

The project must be community-friendly and evidence of safe landscaping is important, as arelevels of construction specification to meet informed standards of sustainability.

The Ferndene project is valued at £27.1m and was developed the design with input from the young inhabitants. This means the building responds directly to their needs. It cleverly avoids characteristics of a traditional mental health building whilst providing a safe, therapeutic and rehabilitative environment.

Eddy Wilkinson, Education Activities Coordinator at Ferndene, said: “We are so pleased with Ferndene, it’s doesn’t feel like a hospital and is a wonderful place to work. Fellow staff and young people have literally drawn gasps when visiting and that confirms how well it was designed and conceived.”

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