Garden offers recovery oasis

Get well garden: Sandra McDonald, Julie Rushton, and Ian Mason from Beautiful Minds with the garden helping people recover at Harmony House in Bradbury. Picture: Simon Bennett
Get well garden: Sandra McDonald, Julie Rushton, and Ian Mason from Beautiful Minds with the garden helping people recover at Harmony House in Bradbury. Picture: Simon Bennett

A TRACKSIDE marquee may seem a million miles away from the corridors of the adult mental health unit at Campbelltown Hospital.

But this month the Mayor's Charity Race Night will bring the two much closer together.

All money raised on the night will help mental health support group Beautiful Minds to create recovery gardens for patients at Waratah House.

"For me, it's a bleak, bare, isolated place and for the people going in there they are in a locked facility and it's 24/7," Beautiful Minds president Sandra McDonald said.

"The average stay is 10 days and there's not much for them to do."

She said there were many studies that showed humans needed to feel grounded and be in a good environment for their wellbeing, and the group hoped the gardens would speed up recovery.

"If it can speed up recovery, it's a cost saving as well, not only a human saving for people's health," Ms McDonald said.

She said the benefits of a good garden could be seen at Harmony House recovery centre in Bradbury, where patients grew their own vegetables and learnt how to use them in a healthy meal.

"The same could happen at Waratah House," Ms McDonald said. "It's getting back into focusing on healthy, good things and exercise.

"That's the other thing we'd like to incorporate into the garden at Waratah, some outdoor exercise equipment."

She said the gardens were likely to include vegetables, aromatic plants, herbs and a sensory garden.

Ms McDonald said Beautiful Minds were overjoyed that the mayor was keen to support their work and said she hoped local businesses would also get behind the event as sponsors.