If you are a psychotherapist with an active clinic for mental health clients, offering your clients the feeling of safety is paramount to preventing them from deteriorating further. Individuals stricken with mental health related illness, often have feelings of anxiety, paranoia, persecution and mistrust. It is important that these clients feel they are in a safe environment where their minds can be at peace and have a load lifted off their shoulders.
Safety measures for your mental health clinic can be implemented in consideration of the type of clients that you treat. While not all mentally ill people are violent, there is usually likelihood that some of them could become violent. As such, it is important to ensure that there are basic measures like a guard and some restraint methods.
Many clients will come to you already in an anxious mood. Keeping them calm can be done using soothing music, an aquarium and painting your waiting room in cool colors such as blue. An interior decorator is very handy regarding such matters.
Due to their nature, mental health clients will take time to feel safe around new people, including you. Naturally, they will also be reluctant to bare all their thoughts and feelings to a stranger. It is important to make them feel that their secrets are safe with you. Have a closed consulting room that is quiet and exudes professionalism.
A safe and confidential working environment is beneficial to clients, especially those suffering from problems with PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-disorder). These are individuals who have grown to become hyper alert and often show very high levels of anxiety. Having the wrong impression of the place where they are, or who they are with could trigger reactions that are occasionally violent. A safe, confidential environment will ensure that the gains made are not reversed, judgment-free.