Mental health advocate takes top nod

A beautiful mind: NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year Sandra Mcdonald with grandchildren McKenzie, seven, and Aedan Ryan, nine. Picture: Anna Warr
A beautiful mind: NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year Sandra Mcdonald with grandchildren McKenzie, seven, and Aedan Ryan, nine. Picture: Anna Warr

Beautiful Minds founder Sandra McDonald was “overwhelmed” when she was named the NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year on Friday.

The Long Point resident has been a passionate advocate for mental health and tireless campaigner for improvements at Campbelltown’s mental health facilities for many years.

“I was a bit emotional when they called my name,” she said. “There were about 20 other people to choose from and I didn’t think it would be me.”

Mrs McDonald hopes this recognition will get the ball rolling for other places across NSW to improve their own acute mental health units.

“As far as I can tell, across the state the environments in the acute units are so poor,” she said. “The clinical care is good but the environment of the unit is hardly different to the 18th century. There’s nothing there for the patients to expend their energy.”

Mrs McDonald’s current goal is improving the amenities at Campbelltown acute children’s unit Gna Ka Lun.

She thanks the Macarthur community for its support.

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