June 10, 2016

Environmental design service wins mental health award

dta environment design team win award

The Environmental Design Education Service created by Professor Richard Fleming and Kirsty Bennett has won the Older Persons’ Mental Health Award at this year’s Mental Health Matters Awards.

The Environmental Design Education Service created by Professor Richard Fleming and Kirsty Bennett has won the Older Persons’ Mental Health Award at this year’s Mental Health Matters Awards.

The 2016 Mental Health Matters Awards were presented at NSW Parliament House by NSW Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward on September 29, at the launch of Mental Health Month. The awards recognise the achievements of individuals and organisations who have worked to improve understanding, awareness, service provision and the general mental health of NSW communities over the previous year.

The Environmental Design Education Service, known as ‘Designing for People with Dementia’, was provided by the NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre until 30 September, and is now a major activity of Dementia Training Australia.

The service uses a combination of handbooks, workshops, consultancy and a smartphone app to help aged and health care staff to plan improvements to existing buildings so that they help residents and patients with dementia by reducing confusion and agitation, while improving social interaction. Professor Fleming and Ms Bennett have worked closely with NSW Health in the production of a handbook describing the application of 10 principles of design to the modification of existing hospital buildings and the design of new inpatient units.

Click here to view the Handbook.

The Mental Health Matters Awards are presented by the WayAhead Mental Health Association of NSW and supported by the Mental Health Commission of NSW.

This article originally published in the Australian Journal of Dementia Care, Vol 5 No 6, December 2016/December 2017

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