Sandy Jeffs

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments


Year: 2007

Event: 2007 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: VIC

Award level: Winner

Award category: Exceptional Contribution to Mental Health Services in Australia or New Zealand

Abstract: Sandy Jeffs grew up and went to school in Ballarat. She graduated from La Trobe University in 1975. She had her first psychotic episode when she was twenty-three and since then has had a long struggle with schizophrenia requiring many hospitalisations. Over that time she has become an advocate for mental health and was among the first to speak publicly about her struggles with schizophrenia. Sandy has done a lot of media work, including radio and television appearances as well as published essays on mental health. She gives talks to community groups, school and university students about mental illness and teaches nursing students. She has travelled around Australia to speak at conferences to GPs and psychiatrists. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences in Australia and New Zealand, receiving standing ovations. Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies, magazines and a book entitled ‘Poems from the Madhouse’. Sandy Jeffs poems invite readers into the paradoxical world of insanity; the confusion and clarity, the courage and the fear, the bleak despair and the black comedy. Her works remind us of the extraordinary capacity of the human being to retain sanity in disaster. Sandy has received awards for her work in mental health from SANE Australia and the Mental Illness Fellowship. She was also an inductee onto the Inaugural Victorian Honour Roll of Women: Women Shaping the Nation 2001. She was on the board of the Mental Illness Fellowship between 1996-2000. Sandy has wholeheartedly displayed the qualities of deep compassion and creativity given towards the recovery of others and accompanied by a unique message of hope and health through her poetry and humour. This award acknowledges an exceptional contribution to Mental Health Services Description of Facility/Organisation:

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