“Psychotic-yellow” psychiatric ward in an obsolete building in Kleppur

The seat of the specialist rehabilitation department in Kleppur is so outdated that it adversely affects the recovery of patients. The ceiling and interior are the flashy color that patients have complained about, one of whom has called it “yellow psychosis”. The ward manager says housing conditions are so bad that they can be devastating for patients’ recovery and well-being.

An outdated building that does not meet modern requirements


Kleppsspítali is over 100 years old, it was built in 1907. And while the building is elegant in many respects, it is by no means suitable for the activities that take place there today.

Kleppur houses five Landspítali psychiatric wards: a psychiatric hospital for convicts who, due to their mental health, cannot serve prison sentences, a ward for seriously ill who require longer treatment and stay in the center, a clinic, a rehabilitation ward and a specialized rehabilitation ward. It is home to young people who are unable to make their own decisions, aged 18 to 30, with severe mental disorders – schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The average length of stay is approximately three months.

“In such a situation, it is good to get the impression that you have support from the environment. You want to enter a building where you will feel that you will be well cared for and you are in an environment focused on your recovery “ – says Manda Jónsdóttir, head of the specialist psychiatric rehabilitation department. “Here you cannot find a place to relax and stay in public space at the same time.”

Flashy yellow, narrow corridors and spaces without windows

The living conditions in Kleppur are characterized by flashy yellow, spaces without windows, and some corridors are so narrow that people can hardly pass each other.

“It can create some tension that people have been together in this tight space for a long time. This can lead to stress in the ward, communication stress and social pressure between patients. As a result, patients may need to be asked to enter a room. And this, in turn, may encourage a kind of compulsion that we rather don’t use “Says Manda.

Yellow room harmful to adults and children

The furnishings in the rooms have already lived their best times and patients have to share bathrooms, which is not very conducive to both privacy and disease control of patients. And the yellow motif is a drop that overflows the cup of bitterness.

Yellow is the brightest color in the rainbow. It is used to attract attention, as on road signs and ambulances. It also often symbolizes joy and optimism. But yellow in large amounts can cause complex emotions, anger and anxiety. People are more likely to lose their temper in the yellow rooms and babies to burst into tears.

“Patients complained a lot about it. One of them called this place “the psychotic yellow ward” and complained about the effect it had on his well-being.

“The ceiling is set low, plus that flashy yellow color that is found in patient rooms and beyond. The largest central area, the corridor we often use for play, reading newspapers and chatting, is windowless, low, and has this yellow color. “

Outdoor area overlooking the Eimskip containers

The space outside is relatively new and Manda says it has changed a lot, although the space inside the building had to be reduced and the exit could be better. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture has previously noted that there is no outside space for patients in the ward.

“We are close to the coast, but the containers mostly block this view.”

Source: Yle





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