Waiting rooms are seldom relaxing or comfortable. Usually designed to be utilitarian, many have bright lights, practical furniture and feel cold and crowded – all of which serve to create an ambiance that is uncomfortable or even stressful. Those experiencing strong emotional difficulties, such as anxiety or depression may be especially uncomfortable. Parents of children, especially those with behavioral difficulties, may be stressed by the challenges of supervising their children in a crowded waiting room. For someone seeking mental health counseling, this experience can be a barrier to treatment.
Maps wants the therapeutic welcome area to reflect the core values that the organization represents: security, privacy and caring. Their new waiting room will offer a spiritual element that is welcoming while being functional, and it will offer a high level of security and safety for all those visiting or working at Maps.
For these reasons, Maps is creating a therapeutic welcome area that projects an ambiance of tranquility and relaxation, offering comfort and space. Muted lighting and the soothing sound of a water wall help to promote a more positive mood and prepare the client for the therapy session to come. The receptionist’s area will be separated from the waiting area by a privacy wall, allowing for discreet conversations when clients check in at the desk. Color, design, lighting, and art work will all be integrated to communicate our values and our mission. These features are essential to Maps’ ability to enhance their clients’ sense of peace, security and privacy, a critical first step in helping clients navigate life’s challenges. Furniture will be high quality, comfortable, easy to clean and built to last.
For parents bringing their children, there will be The Children’s Nook, a play area separated from the main waiting area that will allow children to play while easily monitored. The Nook will have a children’s table and chairs, toys, games, coloring books and stuffed animals to help kids relax and be entertained prior to their therapy sessions. Built into the wall will be an eSea digital aquarium, captivating children with the calming images of actual fish swimming in their natural environment. Nursing mothers will find a space where they can feed their baby in privacy and comfort.
Finally, the welcome area will be safe and secure. Access to the clinical areas will be through transparent, locked doors. Staff will be able to work alone at night knowing that they are secure in their offices. Security cameras will monitor the entrances, both downstairs and upstairs, and newly constructed doors will ensure the security of the building. Administrative staff will work behind secure but welcoming windows and a built-in alarm system will notify all staff if there is a critical incident either in the waiting room or a clinician’s office.
The cost for the therapeutic welcome area and children’s nook is $45,000.