Biophillia in Behavioral and mental health
Evidence-based design studies support that the use of realistic and natural art can be beneficial in behavioral and mental health facilities. Access to nature and natural images can provide a positive distraction, which can have a therapeutic healing effect as well as reduce patient anxiety and agitation.
Incorporating elements of nature into interior layouts is known as biophillia, the primary focus of biophillic design. Biophilic design involves creating spaces that help support comfort and promote wellness. In fact, nature-based imagery is considered a beneficial tool for use in designing spaces for behavioral health facilities.
Careful use of imagery
The correct and careful use of imagery cannot be understated. What may seem pleasant and peaceful to a staff member or caregiver could be alarming in the eyes of a resident. Experience has shown that close up imagery of natural settings works better in behavioral and mental health environments than scenic landscapes. For example, seeing a tree or a leaf rather than the whole forest, or a single flower versus a far off meadow. These images tend to provide the connection to nature while limiting the potential for harmful interpretation.