The Bartlett Real Estate Institute


Mental health facilities research wins prize

23 April 2019

“The social invisibility of mental health facilities”, a multi-disciplinary project involving the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Division of Psychiatry and the Slade School of Art, has won the poster prize at the 4th Qualitative Health Research Network conference.

The team of four people who won the poster prize

The QHRN Conference is an international biennial event that aims to disseminate research on health, illness and care that uses qualitative or mixed-methods approaches.

The winning UCL project comprised an art exhibition comparing healthcare vs mental health facilities of the same area, raising awareness of the inequality and social exclusion through a visual, multimedia perspective.

Its aim was to identify if the exterior of the facilities and their urban integration demonstrated inequality and document this inequality from the socio-spatial perspective. The study explored the structural stigma of mental health facilities in comparison to healthcare facilities and aimed to identify society’s attitude towards mental illness through the buildings that house mental/general healthcare facilities. 

The research identified factors that contribute to the isolation of mental health facilities both in aspects of space and place. 

Dr Evangelia Chrysikou, MSc Healthcare Facilities programme director at the Bartlett Real Estate Institute and principal investigator of the project Planning and Evaluation Methodologies for Mental Healthcare Buildings, said the research illustrated what professionals involved in the care and treatment of mentally ill people already knew.

“NIMBYism and the social exclusion of mentally ill people in society are still a reality. The exhibition with the satellite actions, such as the mapping of the facilities and the picture-rich book, demonstrated the under-budgeting of mental health facilities and their stigmatization as expressed by the centrality of locations and the overall projected image of the building exteriors,” said Dr Chrysikou.

Applications for BREI’s MSc in Healthcare Facilities are now open

For more information or to apply, click here.

Architecture for Mental Health workshop

On May 29 BREI is holding a one-day interactive workshop on Architecture for Mental Health. For more information or to book your place, click here.