Psychologically informed environments: a literature review

Psychologically informed environments (PIEs) are conscious of the mental health needs of the people that inhabit them.

In the context of homelessness, this means that in hostels and relevant care environments there is an awareness of the mental health problems of the homeless people using the services, and how the environment may affect their mental health positively or negatively.

In this report, commissioned by St Mungo’s, the Mental Health Foundation have used a rapid review approach to assess the evidence available on PIEs in UK homelessness settings. The report shows that PIEs are a promising development with evidence indicating that they work.

However, it also concludes that there is further research needed in the following key areas:

  1. Factors contributing to success in implementation
  2. Ways to overcome difficulties
  3. A coherent outcome framework/toolkit, which is publically available to help measure change for providers.

Further reading

  • Whittington, D. (2011). Wrenching Open the Doors of Perception. Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, Vol 5, March 2011 p 15-38
  • Whittington, D. (2012). Bath of Steel, Milton Keynes: Authorhouse (Revised 2015)