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Palo Alto VA Gets New “Green” Mental Health Center

Midweek Mental Greening

It’s not scheduled to be complete until 2011, but exciting construction started earlier this month on what sounds like will be an impressive – and green – new mental health center for the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

The new mental health center is the first of several reconstruction projects that will take place over the next five years within the Palo Alto VA, and according to Palo Alto Online, the new mental health center will:

  • Use natural lighting, landscaping, and other therapeutic design elements to promote a healing environment.
  • Use a single-story structure to offer patients easy access to outdoor spaces.
  • Provide landscaped views from patients’ bedroom windows.

“This groundbreaking is groundbreaking in terms of what is going to be built here,” U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo said. “When they enter the doors, everything there will be about healing them.”

6 Comments to
Palo Alto VA Gets New “Green” Mental Health Center

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  1. However, when narcotics are taken for several weeks to months, these side effects can become more challenging: loss of effectiveness due to built-up tolerance, possible addiction, or overuse for a temporary “high,” not for pain. Because of the potential for addiction, whether physical (anxiety, irritability, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and insomnia) or psychological (compulsive use, craving the drug and needing it to “feel good,” narcotics are considered controlled substances findrxonline indicated in their medical articles, which means that the FDA and DEA govern their distribution, prescription, and use and classify them into different schedules as per the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

  2. @ Marconi – Thanks for chiming in :) The side effects of withdrawing from medications are indeed scary :( I don’t think this facility plans to take medications away from patients; I think the goal is to use facility’s design as an additional tool for promoting recovery.

  3. It seems like a no brainer that a psych hospital should incorporate natural scenery, fresh air, and sunlight, however I’m pretty sure it’s rare. My experience is that psych hospitals are dark, dismal, and depressing. What an odd place to send someone who is depressed.

  4. @ Claire – I know :( There seem to be some really dark, depressing ones out there. Yet, this seems like something that will catch on, maybe become the norm for mental health hospitals. Funding – money to make these renovations – I’m sure is an issue, too.

  5. Alicia, I hope you’re right and that it does catch on. It is much needed. Maybe people wouldn’t fight so hard to leave those places if they were truly places of healing and recovery.

  6. Alicia, I meant to add thanks for posting this. It gives me a tiny bit of hope.



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