14 November 2020

Empire – Specialists in Healthcare Sector Furniture

It is widely acknowledged hospital Emergency departments are not ideal locations for people who are in mental distress. A report in 2018 found people presenting with acute mental health crises wait longer to be seen, spend more time receiving treatment, and were more likely to leave before their treatment was completed. 

The Queensland-wide ‘Crisis System Reform Project’ is a consultative project using co-design principles to develop a new crisis system response that improves access and navigation to appropriate services across Queensland and improves patient outcomes.

Queensland Health referred to Safe Haven Cafés developed in the United Kingdom in response to an independent enquiry that found people wanted a warm, caring, safe space they could go to for safety and respite in times of mental health crisis. Also known as safe spaces these dedicated facilities provide an alternative or adjunct service to Emergency departments. 

People using the services reported it allowed them to feel safe and supported in a time of crisis, offered a therapeutic and viable alternative to the Emergency department and provided an out-of-hours social support network.  

The model of service for this crisis care option in Queensland, to be known as a Crisis Support Space (CSS), will be developed and agreed using co-design principles. The Shifting Minds Flagship provides funding for the establishment of eight safe spaces and one crisis stabilisation facility across Queensland in a phased approach over four years.

Resultantly Empire was selected by this public hospital in Brisbane to fit out the first of these new Crisis Support Spaces assisting patients with mental health needs. The client sought to create a space attached to their Emergency Department where people in mental distress could go to assist them with grounding and other mental health techniques. This separate room had to feel more secluded, home-like and less clinical than the Emergency Department. See more on this fit-out here.

  • Reference – See Queensland Health “Shifting Minds flagship: Taking action to reduce suicides in Queensland (Shifting Minds Flagship), collectively referred to as the Crisis System Reform Project.”