The field of behavioral health focuses on the connection between patients’ actions and emotions and their mental and physical well-being. Patients seeking behavioral healthcare often struggle with mental illnesses and/or substance abuse issues and require different levels of support in diverse settings.

Whether people are being provided with inpatient care or they’re seeking outpatient behavioral health services at a clinic, hospital, or community center, they need to be provided with the right furniture. Read on to find out about six attributes to look for that tip the scale when it comes to choosing the right chairs, beds, and other furnishings for any behavioral healthcare setting.

1. Focus on Patient and Staff Safety

Every behavioral health facility’s first concern should be the safety of its patients and staff. To that end, all of the furniture in these settings should be free from sharp edges, loose parts, and removable components that could be used to cause bodily harm. It’s also important that behavioral health furniture offers patients no opportunities to conceal objects.

2. Supportive and Inviting

The right furniture for a behavioral health facility will also be visually calming and provide plenty of ergonomic support. Look for options that create a welcoming, inviting space for patients and providers alike. Soft lines and calming colors are always a good bet.

3. Durability and Longevity

Behavioral health facilities can be uniquely demanding environments, so all of the furniture in waiting rooms, treatment rooms, and patient areas needs to be built to suit those demands. Look for features like high-quality materials, solid surfaces for tabletops and arm caps, healthcare-grade upholstery that is both antimicrobial and antibacterial, non-marring gliders, and pick-proof table edges. Furniture with these features will last longer even in demanding environments.

4. Ease of Cleaning

One of the reasons it’s so important to purchase furniture made from high-quality, durable, solid materials and outfitted with healthcare-grade upholstery is that these products tend to be easier to clean. They’re designed to withstand harsh cleaning solutions and to support a hygienic environment for patients. In today’s age, ease of cleaning and the ability to stand up well to even the harshest chemical cleaning solutions are essential traits for furniture not just in behavioral health facilities but in all healthcare environments.

5. Flexibility of Use

There has been an increase in requests for behavioral healthcare services in recent years, which has led to the construction or development of a diverse range of facilities to accommodate those increased needs. The rising need for behavioral healthcare applies across all ages, socio-economic groups, and demographics, so the furniture in these facilities needs to be flexible enough to accommodate any patient. It should be outfitted with hardware for attachment to the floor if needed and should also be movable to accommodate a range of treatment approaches.

6. Comfortable Materials and Design

This article has saved one of the most important features for last. Furniture designed for behavioral health facilities should be comfortable, both in terms of its ergonomic design and the materials used in its construction.

Work With a Specialist

Behavioral health facility managers shouldn’t purchase furniture from just any manufacturer. They should seek out companies that specialize in designing and manufacturing seating, tables, beds, and other furnishings for healthcare environments. These experts should be able to accommodate all of the facility’s unique needs.