As vital as food and meal preparation are to life, kitchens could be potentially dangerous environments for mental health patients. When considering residential furniture for challenging behaviour as well as the relationship between the physical environment and mental health, careful consideration must be given to kitchen units.
What Are The Key Problems Faced With Kitchen Furniture For Mental Health Facilities?
There are two central problems to consider within the kitchen setting:
- Safety, particularly as relates to the various elements of food preparation which may be sharp or otherwise pose risk; and
- Contamination, since the improper handling of food or inadequate cleaning of food preparation areas, can lead to illness.
Kitchen furniture must include features that address each of these concerns and create a safe environment for meals to be prepared, and where the associated materials—from food vessels through to pans, and even pantry items—may be stored yet accessible.
As food is so closely tied to individual well-being, the positive effects of such furniture are evident through eating healthier, which in turn creates a positive physical environment and mental health.
What Features Make For Optimal Kitchen Furniture For Challenging Environments?
Working with vendors who are thoroughly experienced in designing furniture for challenging behaviour offers the advantage of accommodating features being directly integrated into their products.
However, awareness of the sorts of features to keep an eye out for these products can ensure optimal furniture selection for a facility.
- Easy to clean – Materials such as melamine-faced MDF are optimal for both long-term durability as well as ease of cleaning. A bonus is when these surfaces are available in a wide range of finishes since this allows for spaces to be customised to provide a welcoming, comfortable ambience tailored to the residents being served.
- No sharp edges or parts – Facilitating both long-term durability as well as injury prevention, the best furniture for mental health facilities always minimises the number of exposed sharp edges. Tamper-resistant screws, handles, and other elements add another layer of safety protection to these units.
- Customisation – Being able to select the specific units, pieces, and dimensions needed for an area offers the best fit for a facility’s needs. Special needs and disabilities may be directly accommodated using the strategic placement of furniture elements, and this is easier to implement when there is the option for bespoke made furniture.
- Ability to lock – Depending on a unit’s storage needs, it is possible that some items need to be kept away from unsupervised residents; this is true for everything from kitchen cleaners through sharp utensils. Look for furniture that offers options to be locked.
- Built to last – Furniture is a long-term purchase and investment and so it must be built to resist repeated impacts and daily wear. The bottoms of drawers and cabinets should be thickly lined, and everything from doors through to handles should be reinforced so that they cannot be removed or otherwise tampered with.
Where To Buy Furniture For Challenging Environments
A manufacturer or retailer with a demonstrated track record of manufacturing and selling furniture for challenging behaviour is the best option.
Tough Furniture gets at least 70% of its business from repeat customers for a reason: a history of designing and building durable, accommodating furniture, and decades’ worth of experience meeting the needs of challenging environments. By following up with aftersales backup and customer care, we stand by all our products to outperform expectations.
To explore furniture for other mental health environments, see below: