Dana Tapak
“Don’t speak about us without us": design considerations and recommendations for inpatient mental health environments for children and adolescents

Advisor: Lynn Chalmers
Internal Examiner: Susan Close
External Examiner: Mary Anne Kandrack

This thesis explores the relationship between inpatient mental health environments and children and adolescents. Research was conducted by way of observation, questionnaires, interviews, and reading floor plans, partnering with two hospitals in Ontario that offered inpatient child and adolescent mental health services. The primary goal of this study was to develop considerations and recommendations that inform design decisions. I set out to gather the opinions and insights of children and adolescents who were inpatients in these facilities. The staff were also interviewed to capture their views on the role that the physical environment can play in supporting and enabling them to do their best work. The research provided a portal into a complex and sensitive area of study, and offered insights into the experiences and preferences of the children and adolescents. Their perspectives and stories contributed significantly to the knowledge gained in this exploration.

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