Creating A Place Of Sanctuary For Mental Health Patients
Contributing Authors: Jim Hunt, Kim Boe, and Robyn Linstrom
In 2015, Mind Springs Health’s West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., began planning a 62,000-square-foot expansion. A visioning session early in the design process adopted the slogan “Creating a Place of Sanctuary” that would become the guiding principal for the design process of the 48-bed addition (with future planned expansion to 64 beds), which replaces an existing 32-bed inpatient facility in Grand Junction. This building opened in December 2018 and greatly expands access to psychiatric beds in the community and surrounding area as the only psychiatric hospital in the 520-mile- wide distance between Denver and Salt Lake City.
The project team, including Davis Partnership Architects (Denver) and Behavioral Health Facility Consulting LLC (Topeka, Kan.), set out to create a place that is comforting and non-threatening to allow those seeking treatment to relax and be open to treatment. This environment contrasts with those in jails and prisons, where some homeless mentally ill people end up these days.