Whitehorse General Hospital Mental Health Unit

Client: Yukon Hospital Corporation
Location: Whitehorse, YT

Thinkspace and Northern Front Studio have been retained by Yukon Hospital Corporation to complete a renovation and addition to the Whitehorse General Hospital to accommodate a new mental health unit.

The project involves the construction and renovation of approximately 1,150 sq m of programmed space above the existing emergency department at WGH. The program includes a 12-bed secure medical unit (SMU) within the existing Level 2 shelled space of the WGH, and includes the addition of outdoor program space for mental health.

The primary purpose of the project is to implement a culturally appropriate and improved program and space to meet current and future demands in mental wellness care in the Whitehorse region. The integration of Indigenization opportunities is a core component of this project.

Key goals for the project are to:

  • provide culturally appropriate care, including Indigenization opportunities
  • provide a space that supports the projected future volumes and complexity of patient care, which necessitates flexible patient zoning capabilities and treatment spaces
  • establish a secure outdoor space and a First Nations healing space
  • ensure safety and security of patients, staff, physicians and visitors throughout the unit
  • create both treatment and common areas to support daily treatment, activities, and routines for patients
  • provide flexible segregation capabilities to safely and respectfully support a diverse patient population
  • enable flexibility in the use of space to support integration / access with other mental wellness services
  • incorporate a secure off-service space to support staff activities e.g. medication administration and staff breakroom
  • develop a space that is welcoming and non-institutional in feel and appearance

The program planning process included development of Indigenization opportunities, along with detailed program development that takes into account the added functionality that the improved space will provide.