The long desired en suite bathroom which most importantly provides patient autonomy can create an increased risk of self-harm and suicide. Partly because the private bathroom may not be supervised, partly because functions such as mirror, shower heads or hooks may be designed with ligature points, or be used for self-harm. Ligature points are places, e.g. a shower head, where a string or similar can attached to then be used for self-harm or suicide attempts.
Despite the high-risk environment, bathroom products can be designed with features that avoid ligature points, so called anti-ligature products. Design combined with a meticulous choice of materials and thorough testing is key to obtain a safer environment. However, it is of utter importance that the products offer an “easy-to-understand function” integrated with security, specifically in mental health. There is really no need to reduce the interior to a minimum number of functions to avoid risk, as many facilities feel forced to do.
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