Clients do not feel safe and private in your facility.
Provide an inviting and cheerful physical environment that allows for privacy.
Perinatal Treatment Services in Seattle, Washington commissioned a mural of baby animals with their mothers to make their reception area less institutional and more inviting to pregnant women and mothers. They also started doing assessments in a separate room so that clients would have more privacy when answering sensitive questions. They offered clients refreshments during the admission process. For more information, see the case study.
Central New York Services in Syracuse, New York added soothing music, plants, and posters to create a more welcoming environment. They also provided beverages and reading materials for clients waiting for an appointment. For more information, see the case study.
Due to the nature of this promising practice, it’s better to just make the changes and get informal feedback about whether the changes are improvements. Just do it.
Repeat this series of steps until you have made all of the desired and feasible changes to the physical environment.
CAB Health and Recovery Services in Peabody, Massachusetts, in direct response to a client survey, added a separate, private space for clients to answer confidential questions. They renovated the outpatient services space to increase the amount of private counseling and work space. They created a warmer and more welcoming environment with new paint, new carpeting, client artwork, and magazines. For more information, see the case study.
Mid-Columbia Center for Living in The Dalles and Hood River, Oregon made their waiting room more inviting by bringing in plants, by using floor lamps instead of overhead fluorescent lighting, and by changing their window treatments. For more information, see the case study.
Palladia, Inc. in New York City, New York worked with their Continuing Care Treatment clients to get ideas about how to upgrade the physical environment of their agency so it would be more welcoming. For more information, see the case study.
Catalyst Behavioral Health in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma moved the intake counselor’s office from the back of the building to the front, right next to the waiting area where new clients fill out intake paperwork. This alleviated clients’ anxiety about walking down a long unfamiliar hallway to get to the intake counselor’s and also staff’s discomfort about having unknown people walking by their offices.