While Smilezones look great, we put a lot of care and consideration into the design and equipment of each unique Smilezone. The success and benefits of a child’s treatment, health and therapy is directly related to the environment of which the child is in.When children have to trade in the familiarity of home for the structured hospital environment they can feel like they are losing their control over their situation. A positive coping strategy to this is to surround the kids with recognizable and comforting things to feel more at home – we design each Smilezone according to these goals!
Supported by CH Douglas, a hospital environment has a significant influence on mental health processes and well-being. Patient attitudes and perceptions towards the hospital setting in various studies have demonstrated that a homelier, welcoming and inviting atmosphere can have substantial benefits on the patient’s mental well-being as soon as they enter the space.
Smilezones are family friendly spaces where children can play and parents can feel at ease. Having a space where families can be together – and have fun together! – allows the children to feel less isolated from the people that provide them with comfort. While children might spend a lot of time away from friends and family due to their treatment, Smilezones establish a safe space to be together and to make friends with other children and families in similar situations. Smilezones are where people can feel free to relax and be themselves surrounded by others who are navigating similar journeys.
In a 2015 study children identified a hospital as “child-friendly” based on three criteria; the facility had respect for children’s identity and diversity; there was opportunity for social interaction; and there was opportunity to interact with the material environment (Weber et al, 2015). We design each Smilezones satisfy this criterion every time.
An environment can change a child’s attitudes towards the treatment and their perception of the facility itself. By having a welcoming, fun, and comforting atmosphere, children are more likely to view the facility as a fun place and be more willing to receive treatment as a result. A positive environment can calm a child’s nerves and reduce any fears they, siblingsand parents may have.
There is an interesting TedTalksspeachcalled “Where Joy Hides and Where to Find it” by Ingrid Fetell Lee that shares somes fascinating insights into colour, joy and happiness in relation to our surroundings.