Making mental health services accessible to LGBTQ and minorities
All people need safe spaces for therapy and healing. If you’re a person of color or in the LGBTQ community, finding such places are extremely difficult. All Heal is a psychotherapy clinic and adult learning center in midtown Manhattan catering to the needs of these overlooked populations. The center enhances intimate and professional relationships through adventures, experiential learning events, and personal and group therapy sessions. Inclusive design reflects and attends to the needs of people of color and the LGBTQ community.
By involving patients in the design process, we learned that a familial feel is critical for therapy. So, we disguised this clinic as a home. As a result, the physical environment fosters a sense of safety and comfort for patients. This comfort allows for the trust and dialogue needed for effective therapy and betterment.
Instead of the traditionally sterile waiting room, guests relax in the home’s great room. Cozy couches and snacks make them feel at ease. Portraits of the staff’s families makes it feel like hanging out at a friend’s home.
Making it stick
Before leaving, guests pop into reflection chambers. A curated music playlist and soothing imagery calm the mind, allowing the lessons from therapy to sink in and make sense. This is critical before heading back out in the city where thoughts quickly turn to a million other things and unprocessed lessons can quickly evaporate.