Furniture for behavioral health institutions must meet many requirements that are unique to the setting. As a result, choosing furniture for mental health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, group homes, therapist offices, and residential rehab centers can be difficult.
Most mental health professionals are experts in their fields but are not experts in furniture selection. However, behavioral health furniture manufacturers have, through many years of experience, identified characteristics that make furniture particularly suited for behavioral health facilities.
Features of Behavioral Health Furniture
Whether you are an interior designer, facility manager, or therapist, you need to choose furniture for your behavioral health facility that is:
- Durable: Furniture for busy facilities should withstand high use and last a long time.
- Strong: Furniture should not break easily, either due to abuse or deliberate attempts to break it. Furniture that breaks easily can be used to damage property or harm residents.
- Safe: Liability is a concern in all institutional settings. Furniture should not collapse, exposing residents to harm.
- Easy to maintain: Furniture should be easy to assemble and clean and should resist environmental degradation like rust or pests.
- Space efficient: Your facility will be able to treat more residents by using your space efficiently. This can have a direct impact on your facility’s bottom line.
What to Look for in Furniture for Behavioral Health Facilities
When you furnish your behavioral health facility, you might need a lot of furniture. Each room will need to be furnished with beds and personal storage. Common rooms and classrooms will need chairs, desks, and tables. The furniture will need to be functional, yet comfortable, so your residents can focus on their treatment.
Behavioral health facilities differ from other institutional settings because of the heavy emphasis on patient and staff safety. Even with patients who have no history of violence, facilities have a responsibility to protect residents from themselves and others. Equally importantly, facilities have a legal and moral obligation to protect staff from harm. Failing to protect residents and staff from harm could expose a facility to liability and ruin a facility’s reputation as a safe environment.
Heavy furniture with welded joints is difficult to break into parts that can be used to harm others. Moreover, steel furniture can be anchored to floors or walls, preventing them from being tipped over or moved to blockade doors.
Steel furniture is also fireproof. Using steel furniture can help slow the spread of accidental or intentional fires inside a behavior health facility.
Comfort and Functional Considerations
Steel desks, beds and chairs can provide a comfortable environment for residents to sleep and attend treatment sessions. Steel desks with laminate surfaces provide a flat and stable writing surface that resists damage and wear. Moreover, steel has a high weight capacity that will not warp or bend under repeated use or heavy loads.
State, county, or city regulations likely require that your facility provide each resident with a bed and storage for clothing and personal belongings. When furnishing sleeping rooms, bunk beds can satisfy the requirement for bedding while still leaving enough room for storage. Regulatory requirements can be further met, while simultaneously conserving space, by providing under bed storage or large metal dressers that can be shared by multiple residents.
Furniture prone to damage and wear will require more frequent replacement. Heavy duty furniture made from steel will reduce your furniture replacement costs and the liability that could arise when residents or staff are injured by collapsing furniture.
Steel bunk beds, for example, are very durable. Their high weight capacity and welded joints can withstand heavy use. In addition, steel bed frames with a foam mattress provide an inhospitable environment for bed bugs. Equally importantly, steel bed frames resist moisture, damage, mold and termites.
Steel frame furniture can provide the durability and strength to keep behavioral health facility residents safe. Whether you need beds, desks, chairs, or storage, heavy duty, industrial-grade steel furniture should be high on your list of options.
ESS Universal manufactures and supplies high-quality, cost-effective commercial grade beds, mattresses, and furniture to camps, hostels, shelters, dorms and more. View our entire line of furniture products including our popular waterproof foam mattress for institutional use, single metal bed frames, single over single bunk beds, single over double bunk beds, and triple bunk beds. Download our catalog for detailed information on our complete product line.