Self-harming and suicidal distress are prevalent, worldwide healthcare issues. Existing literature explains that both self-harm and suicidal presentations at Emergency Departments are increasingly occurring, correlating to high costs in healthcare service delivery. This scoping review aimed to (1) identify the current body of literature which examined the relationship between design practice and service user experiences within Emergency Departments for self-harm and suicidal distress presentations, and (2) identify the ways in which the built environment could increase the efficacy of therapeutic efforts through improving service user outcomes and experiences. This scoping review established that there was a paucity of research at the time of the review linking the design of the built environment with the provision of care for self-harm and suicidal distress presentations specifically in Emergency Departments. This is despite the fact that there is a significant body of literature pronouncing the links between good design practice and support of mental wellbeing. However, this scoping review established the existence of a limited range of articles related to how design practice can assist in addressing challenging behaviours, such as service user violence, and issues associated with triage of clients with a mental illness. Design strategies from the literature are collated and discussed. Limitations of the field and potential methodologies to address these limitations are also presented.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Environment & Hospitality lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework. (http://bit.ly/ExperienceFramework)

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