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We were privileged to have the opportunity to work with Bethesda Health Care to design and deliver the Bethesda Clinic, the first private mental health facility south of the Swan River. Stage 1 of the facility, which was recently opened by the Minister of Health Amber-Jade Sanderson, has 45 hotel-style bedrooms and a large therapy centre which provides day therapy treatments. Stage 2 is due for completion in June 2023 and includes a further 30 bedrooms, as well as a state-of-the-art procedure suite for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Together with Bethesda Clinic’s community outreach programs and telemedicine, the facility provides a comprehensive mental health service for the community.

As specialist health architects, Silver Thomas Hanley is one of Australia’s leading practices in contemporary mental health design. Our mental health specialists, Basil Vogas and Christian Hartfield, were deeply involved in the design of the Bethesda Clinic. The key design and operational requirements for the facility included providing:

  • a safe and secure environment for consumers and staff that facilitates a contemporary model of care based on person-centered therapy

  • priority access to natural light and outlook

  • a risk-assessed, balanced approach to anti-ligature design

  • a non-clinical, welcoming environment which offers consumers a hotel-like home away from home

  • planning that facilitates staffing efficiency and offers democratic observation as opposed to authoritarian oversight which balances consumer privacy with appropriate levels of discreet observation

  • consumers with choices in their stay offering varying levels of privacy e.g. bedrooms that are private and away from social areas and passing traffic; intermediate semi-private sitting areas away from social areas

  • a Therapy Garden which multiple options for personal enjoyment and is a focus of the wellness approach

  • communal social areas including lounge, dining and activity spaces

  • a clear separation of support areas and utilities from public/consumer areas

  • the ability to sub-cohort the bedroom areas to respond to different levels of consumer vulnerability

  • environmentally sustainable design including: orientation, passive solar control, natural light, high performance building materials, etc.

Designing a multi-storey contemporary mental health facility to meet the above objectives was highly challenging and rewarding. The delivered facility is a great testament to the outstanding collaboration of the entire team and we wish Bethesda Clinic, and all who receive treatment here, the very best outcomes.

Thanks to @silvertonephoto for the below photos - find more via the below link.


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