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Design in Mental Health debuts in Manchester

Design in Mental Health is the event that brings together professionals and lived-experience experts from around the world to learn about, share and challenge what good design in mental health settings looks like.

If you are involved in the design, build, equipping, refurbishment, or management of facilities for mental health treatment, or are a clinician or academic in the field of mental health, Design in Mental Health is a place to be informed and inspired, share experience and best practice, discover new products and solutions, and to have meaningful conversations on the issues that matter.

As it enters its second decade, the annual Conference, Exhibition and Awards moves to a new venue for 2024 – the iconic Manchester Central. The event is organised with Design in Mental Health Network (DiMHN), a charity which aims to improve mental health outcomes by spreading the practice of good design, co-produced with lived experience, and DiMHN CEO Hannah Chamberlain said of the move, “As the Network continues to develop in reach and ambition, we are looking to expand our capacity for exhibitors, delegates and speakers at our annual flagship conference and exhibition. This move takes us to an exciting new chapter in a well-established and high-profile venue with strong design and engineering traditions, room for expansion, and strong transport links. We’re looking forward to what the move brings in terms of opportunities to develop the community, expand our membership, lead the agenda, and champion best practice.”


The 2024 Conference Programme features a truly diverse range of speakers covering key topics for the design and delivery of spaces for mental health. Keynotes come from Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, Chair of NHS England’s Advancing Mental Health Equalities Taskforce, who will talk on NHS England’s Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework; Andy Bell, Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health, on designing a mentally healthier nation; David Gardner, Director at Holmes Miller Architects, on therapeutic and trauma informed approaches to custodial design; and artist and activist Dolly Sen with the intriguingly titled talk “Art Insists the Walls be Kind”.

There are 30+ more presentations in the programme on six key themes: person-centred approach; collaboration and partnership innovation; design, estates, facilities and equipment learning; safety and psychologically-informed environments; new ways of working; and custodial and operational learning.

Conference delegates can also reserve in advance places on the programme of roundtable workshops, with a choice of six sessions with titles as diverse as “It’s No Fun Getting Older”, “Design for All” and “Redefining Assistive Equipment as Personalised Empowerment Tools”.

The Exhibition is now established as the premier showcase of products and specialist expertise for mental health spaces, with an extensive range of solutions under one roof. The 2024 edition features 60+ leading companies and organisations, including many NHS-approved framework suppliers with information, products and services for everything from reduced-ligature products to architectural design services, furniture to access control.

The prestigious Design in Mental Health Awards take place at Manchester Central on Tuesday 4 June, with awards due to be presented in 12 categories. All visitors to Design in Mental Health are invited to attend the ceremony, which kicks off at 5pm with a complimentary drinks reception and entertainment before the awards winners are announced. Categories include Art Installation of the Year, Clinical Team of the Year, four Project of the Year categories and the always hotly-contested Product Innovation of the Year.

Registration for Design in Mental Health is open at with a range of attendance options to suit different budgets and availability. Conference delegate passes give access to everything on offer at the event - Conference, Exhibition and Awards - and an Early booking discount is available until 29 March. Exhibition-only attendance is free of charge and includes entry to the Awards ceremony.


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