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We know the built environment can affect mental health—but how can we make sure that impact is positive?

We spend most of our lives in buildings, from our homes to our workplaces and “third spaces”—social surroundings that are separate from home and work. It’s not surprising that the buildings we spend so much time in have an impact on our wellbeing. In addition, health and wellness—including mental health—are a growing focus area for building owners and managers who are looking to make sure the built environment is having a positive impact on the people occupying it.

“The pandemic is obviously something we’re all continuing to think about, live through and engage with every day, and that has shined a brighter spotlight on wellness in general,” said Stephen Harris, principal of Pickard Chilton. “Folks are also seeing mental health as a more substantive component of the wellness equation, so it’s becoming more recognized that the built environment has major contributions to make to either the success or detriment of mental health.”

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