Melanie Mason joined Jasmax as a Principal and health planner in 2021. Having spent the last 16 years in the health sector, Melanie brings experience in public and private healthcare models. Melanie is a leading expert in design of acute mental health facilities in New Zealand. The projects she has delivered in this specialist sector over the last six years have seen her contribute to a reimagining of the delivery of mental health services in this country, placing patient well-being at the heart of design.
The most substantial of these is the recently completed Tiaho Mai Acute Mental Health Unit at Middlemore Hospital. In transformational facilities such as this, significantly improved outcomes including reduced use of seclusion, incidents, aggression and unexplained absences are already being observed. This project sets the roadmap for improving outcomes.
In Melanie’s experience, quality of space is key. The more beautiful the building and environment people are able to recover in, the more effective and long-lasting their recovery will be. Great health spaces that have ample access to natural light, that minimise stress, and prioritise human and environmental wellness payback in many ways – including patient recovery times and improved staff recruitment and retention.
Melanie’s process involves working closely alongside client teams to make the consultation and briefing process as interactive, collaborative and targeted as possible. Considering the experience of the end user and their whanau, staff, management teams, maintenance teams and visiting clinicians is critical to ensuring facility designs work effectively.