Laura Glithero square

We are delighted to announce that the BIID is partnering with the Design In Mental Health Network (DiMHN) on a talk at the BIID Conference 2016. Laura Glithero, Senior Interior Designer at Gilling Dod Architects will be giving a talk entitled, ‘Mental Health Matters: Designing With The Mind In Mind’.

The growing demands being placed upon mental health services in the UK are creating huge pressures on NHS and Private Healthcare Facilities up and down the country. Recent studies estimate that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health condition at some point in our lives, with the raising profile of specialisms such as Autism, CAMHS and Dementia now firmly in the public eye. With this in mind, we should be aiming to provide buildings and environments in the health sector specially tailored to these sometimes challenging and varied needs, and which yield measureable healing benefits.

This talk will explore the broad term of ‘mental health’ and how this can encompass a huge range of different types of service user, each with very individual needs – making developing interior design schemes increasingly detailed and challenging. We will explore challenges such as robustness, security and safety, and the impact these factors will have on the end design and healing milieu.  We will also explore how good design can have a huge positive impact on recovery, treatment and wellbeing- not only in specialist facilities but also in the community – and the much needed drive to create true therapeutic spaces for people to live, work and heal in.

Never before has the task of defeating the negative stigma associated with the term ‘Mental Health’ been more crucial. We must eradicate the ‘insane asylum’ stereotype, stop hiding away mental health facilities behind huge walls and break the culture of fear around the subject. This talk aims to explore how we, as designers, are perfectly placed to address this issue with quality design at its core.

About Laura:

Laura Glithero is Senior Interior Designer at Gilling Dod Architects and has worked extensively in the field of healthcare design for over 7 years, after graduating from the University of Bolton with a First Class Honours degree in Interior Design.

Laura has a real passion for enhancing healthcare environments, with a view to supporting recovery for a diverse range of end users. She is responsible for the interior design of multi-million pound projects across the UK, delivering award winning projects in both acute and mental health sectors. However, Laura’s particular interest lies in pathway specific design for mental health, such as designing for sufferers of Dementia and those on the Autistic spectrum.

It is this area of research that Laura is keen to develop and make accessible for a wider audience, defeating the stigma of mental health and aiming for a culture in which inclusive design is a consideration on all major public projects across the UK. Laura also has a passion for educating, working part time as a guest lecturer and continuing to support University courses in Interior Design, whilst in her spare time developing more traditional illustration and painting skills.

About the Design In Mental Health Network:

The Design In Mental Health Network (DiMHN) brings together people involved in mental health environments to collaborate and so improve outcomes. DiMHN is confident that when people who use and experience mental healthcare settings come together with those who procure, design and construct them, rewarding opportunities open up to think through the issues and challenges we face in making those environments healing, optimistic and effective places to be.

In keeping with the DiMHN’s aim of facilitating inclusive and productive networking, they make sure that all their events maintain a friendly, supportive atmosphere. DiMHN encourage people to speak honestly and openly while having respect for the different views other people might have. By talking about our ideas and experiences we can develop shared understandings and generate effective team-working. Networking is about learning from each other.

DiMHN is a not-for-profit social enterprise company with charitable aims. It is here for anyone with an interest in the design of mental health units and settings: architects, artists, designers, estates and facilities staff, medical staff, service users, clients, nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, contractors … whatever your interest, if your role is to advise on or get involved in designing or refurbishing mental health settings or if you work or receive care in them then this network is for you.

For the full conference programme please click here