GROW celebrates 50 years helping people recover from mental health issues

Preparations for the GROW in Ireland 50th Anniversary Weekend are currently in full swing and it promises to be a very special occasion for all involved. The Mount Wolseley Hotel will host the event from 19 - 22 September that will feature guest speakers, mindfulness workshops and the GROW annual general meeting on Sunday afternoon.

GROW is a national community-based organisation providing support and education around emotional and mental wellbeing. Our 12 Step Recovery Program (which is based on CBT techniques) provides effective peer support, motivation and empowerment to enable members to take action to change their circumstances in a structured and supportive environment.

GROW’s weekly support meetings offer members a practical path out of mental and emotional issues. The program empowers members to construct their own recovery plan and journey towards personal growth. Its principal strength is the support its members give to each other, drawing on their own successful experiences of recovery. 

The conference, entitled "Universal Benefit - Each person's recovery or growth aids the transformation of the world", will feature MC John Lonergan with speakers including Prof Jim Lucey (St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin), Dr Sharon Lambert (UCC), Gina Delaney (Advancing Recovery in Ireland ARI), Dr Mike Watts & Sr Gertrude Howley (GROW), along with guest speaker from GROW in Australia and Mental Health Reform.

There will also be the opportunity to have a bit of fun over the four days with music, table quiz and even a bit of exercise, along with the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces. A Photo, Art & Poetry competition is also underway to allow the more creative among us to express their talents.

One of the highlights of the weekend will be the staging of the final kilometre of the GROW Virtual Walk on Sunday morning with participants clocking up the 50,000km from Sydney to Ireland and back to celebrate the 50 years of the organisation.

The weekend will commence on Thursday, 19 September at 7pm with the welcome address, a ‘Meet & Greet’ and a mindfulness workshop.

The external conference will commence on Friday morning with an address from National Chairperson, Rob Stephen, followed by guest speakers on many issues surrounding mental health. This session will include a presentation from GROW Australia and a panel discussion.

The evening will offer attendees the chance to meet in more informal surroundings with an evening quiz, singing workshop, and lounge entertainment.

The National Conference will begin on Saturday with an address from the Carlow Group and the morning will include a presentation on GROW founder, Fr Con Keogh.

The afternoon will include workshops on drumming and poetry therapy, along with the choice of two outings to Rathwood Gardens & Maze or Chocolate Garden. The Gala Dinner will take place that evening and feature a performance from the GROW choir.

Fr Stan will celebrate Mass on Sunday morning followed by members’ testimonies and the final kilometre of the Virtual Walk at 11am.

The GROW annual general meeting is scheduled for Noon and the weekend will conclude with a round table discussion of representatives from a number of countries to explore ways to collaborate in the future.

GROW members attending the national weekend don't need to book. Bookings will be open to the general public through Eventbrite with details on
www.facebook.com/GROWIreland/ or twitter @grow_ireland. Visit www.grow.ie for more information on GROW in Ireland.

About Grow in Ireland 

GROW was founded in Sydney, Australia in 1957 by Fr Con Keogh, and established in Ireland by Cork-born Fr Sean O’Hanlon following his return from New Guinea in 1969. We now have a national network of over 130 Groups in Ireland and the principal strength is the support members give each other from their own experience in matters to do with mental health.

GROW is a national community-based organisation providing support and education around emotional and mental wellbeing. Our 12 Step Recovery Program (which is based on CBT techniques) provides effective peer support, motivation and empowerment to enable members to take action to change their circumstances in a structured and supportive environment. GROW’s weekly support meetings offer members a practical path out of mental and emotional issues. The program empowers members to construct their own recovery plan and journey towards personal growth. Its principal strength is the support its members give to each other, drawing on their own successful experiences of recovery. 

Our educational programmes provide education and information, promoting positive emotional and mental wellbeing.  These programmes are standalone however, many people have found on completion of the programme that they require support for their mental wellbeing and will join a GROW Support Group.    

GROW recognises the importance of early intervention and delivers a workplace programme - working with the organisation and workforce to create and promote positive mental wellbeing

Grow at 50