Anita Mackey

anita mackey

Board member, 1980s

Anita Mackey was born 1914 in Riverside County, California. At 109 years old, she shares her memories of how she first got involved with the Mental Wellness Center, back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Anita graduated with a BA from College of the Redlands, where she was offered a teaching position.

Growing up, Anita remembers going with her father on several occasions to visit a family member, at Patton State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in San Bernardino, California, that provides treatment to forensically and civilly committed patients within a secure treatment area. This family member spent his life in the hospital.

This experience, during her young life, led her to pursue a master’s degree from Chicago School of Social Science Administration. Thus began Anita Mackey‘s career as a licensed medical social worker.

In 1964 she moved to Santa Barbara County with the love of her life, Harvey Mackey, whom she married at the age of 23, in1937. She became a Supervisor for the Veterans Administration serving four California counties. In this capacity, Anita learned about the Mental Wellness Center and showed immediate interest, as to how she might help, considering her family experience and educational background.

Annmarie Cameron remembers Anita well: “She was very influential to me as she was a retired social worker from Los Angeles who had a tremendous passion for helping people, always putting their needs first.”

Anita said she is most proud of how she helped families navigate the county systems, in order to receive needed services for their loved ones.

Anita Mackey has the gift of being an astute listener, which afforded clients comfort knowing that they had been heard.