MSP Rona Mackay joins ministerial visit to G.R.A.C.E. in Kirkintilloch

The Minister for Mental Health listened to the concerns and experiences of service users when visiting a Kirkintilloch aftercare charity on Monday.

Maureen Watt MSP visited G.R.A.C.E. in Hillhead Community Centre and met with charity founder Robert Smith and service users to discuss mental health issues.

In the new sensory garden created by service users, the Minister put on some gloves, picked up a trowel and planted a new rose bush entitled Compassion.

MSP Rona Mackay, a strong supporter of the charity, also joined the Minister.

She said: “It was wonderful to welcome the Minister for Mental Health to Kirkintilloch. The work Robert and volunteers do here is instrumental in helping people recover from addiction, trauma and all sorts of mental health related issues.

“I would like to thank Maureen Watt for taking the time to visit and recognise the excellent community-based work G.R.A.C.E. is doing in Kirkintilloch, it meant a lot to everyone there.”

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said: “Charities like G.R.A.C.E. provide a vital service from the community to help people recover or manage their mental health. In meeting service users, I was able to hear their concerns, which help inform my decisions as a minister. I would like to thank Robert Smith, volunteers and the service users for having me along to hear their concerns and talk to them about how the Scottish Government is serious in improving the mental health of our nation.”

Robert Smith said: “It was great to have the Minister for Mental Health along to hear from our service users. Maureen Watt took the time to listen to concerns and talk with them. We are delighted she was able to plant a rose bush in our sensory garden.”


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Rona Mackay was elected in May 2016 with a 8,100 majority in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Prior to this, she was a journalist in national newspapers for more than 20 years, before becoming Parliamentary Assistant to Clydebank and Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson, with whom she worked for nine years before becoming elected.



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