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NAPHS releases fifth edition of Design Guide

February 14, 2012
by News release
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As new products have become available to assist psychiatric and addiction treatment facilities in improving safety, the authors of a highly regarded reference guide on the built environment in behavioral health facilities have issued an updated (5.0) edition of this online resource.

The Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities: Edition 5.0 includes a new and improved Appendix 5.0 to help locate resources by product description and by manufacturer. Both the guide and appendix are available free of charge on the website of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) at

Written by national experts James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, and David Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, the publication and appendix identify specific items and manufacturers (with model numbers and photographs) to explain why hundreds of resources (from door levers to security glass) are appropriate for use in the behavioral healthcare setting. 

The document was first issued in 2003 as Guidelines for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities and reissued in second, third, and fourth editions between 2007-2011 as the Design Guide. The guide is intended to help those who are involved in caring for patients within an existing behavioral healthcare program as well as those designing a new bilding or renovating space.

“NAPHS is pleased to make this practical resource from experienced safety experts available to the field at no charge,” said NAPHS President/CEO Mark Covall. “NAPHS does not endorse or recommend any specific product, nor does exclusion of a product indicate disapproval.

"However, we believe that it is important to share ideas that can help in the process of continuously enhancing patient safety and improving patient care. Previous editions of this publication have been extremely well received by the field, and we appreciate the authors’ efforts to incorporate new products and thinking into the updated 5.0 edition.” 

The document is not intended as a legal standard of care that facilities are in any way required to follow. 

Download a free copy of both the guide and appendix at