Grow is a community of persons working towards mental health through mutual help and a 12 Step Program of recovery.
Small groups of people who have experienced depression, anxiety or other mental or emotional distress, meet together on a weekly basis to help each other deal with the challenges of life.
Some people come to GROW while struggling with the loss of a job, a loved one or a relationship.
What is GROW
Grow is Australia’s only national peer support organisation. Grow is a grass roots organisation with participants of GROW providing the leadership of the organisation at the branches and the national Board.
Grow has operated for over 50 years and was established and developed by people living with a mental illness. Grow’s program of personal growth, group method and sharing, caring community has been developed from the findings and experience of people with a mental illness in the course of their recovery and rebuilding their lives.
Grow members share their own experiences and coping strategies in order to help one another. Members don’t just benefit from one another’s experience but, through mutual sharing, and the establishment of trust. The mutual support and friendship developed creates a an ongoing network of support and a community of caring and sharing.
People come to Grow because they have experienced mental illness; depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and mental and emotional distress.
Grow participants can join in weekly Grow meetings, attend social activities, and education and information sessions which are structured to assist participants with their personal growth and development. We also encourage and support GROW participants to undertake leadership roles and discover their potential.
GROW also provides specialised services including:
The GROW Program
Over the last 50 years, Grow members have documented what they felt has helped them overcome obstacles in their recovery. Members pool their experiences and knowledge and document their stories or solutions and wisdoms that have impacted on their recovery. This rich collection of experiences are included in the Grow program, which is encapsulated in Grow’s ‘‘Blue Book’’, a small booklet used by Growers at group meetings to provide encouragement, motivation and inspiration or aids for others sharing problems, solutions and progress. A range of other literature is also available to members including personal stories of recovery from other members.
Most people that come to Grow attend (mostly weekly) meetings that are run by their members and follow a standard format that includes:
Meetings generally run for around two hours.
GROW meetings are for everyone but there are some that are for discrete groups Including:
Grow provides mutual self help support Groups for any adult who is having mental or emotional problems.
Groups are ordinarily run by their own members, according to a well structured and successful format.
Grow Meetings are supportive and non-threatening, positive and constructive.
Meeting Groups typically have 5 to 9 people and meet weekly, day or night and last for two hours.
People attending group are encouraged to stay for refreshments following the Meeting.
During the meeting, members can share their problems, learn how to rebuild their lives and report on our progress.
We know one another in the group on a first name basis only and make a commitment to confidentiality.
We find it takes courage to go to our first meeting - but we find we are not alone. Others have felt fearful the first time. There is no pressure on you to say anything - you control the pace of your involvement.
No fees are charged, however a small donation to meet necessary expenses is usual, though strictly voluntary.
A variety of training, community building activities (including residential weekends) and social activities backs up the essential group process.
Stories of Recovery and Hope
"I had depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. I had a tendency to avoid contact and stay isolated, which only intensified my condition. Grow is an invaluable source of support for me, helping me get my mind off myself and to grow in self-acceptance and confidence and in active concern for others."
"What made me return to Grow for a second week was knowing that I'd found a haven where I could be with people who understood me and didn't criticise me or judge me. I felt safe."
"I still don't know how or why changing little things about myself has made me well. But why should I worry about how or why? I may not know how the changing works, but I do know that my life used to be a hellish misery and now I am well and happy."
"Instead of my life being finished it was really just beginning. The others in the group believed in me so I was able to begin to believe in myself. Where there was darkness and despair, Grow gave me a way through."
Click below to listen to testimonies of hope, recovery and growth
Click below to read some testimonies
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