Mental Health is the foundation for the wellbeing and effective functioning of individuals. It is more than the absence of a mental disorder; it is the ability to think, learn, and understand one’s emotions and the reactions of others. Mental Health is a state of balance, both within and with the environment. Physical, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and other interrelated factors participate in producing this balance. There are inseparable links between mental and physical health.
A Mental Health problem interferes with a person’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities. There are different types of Mental Health problems and each of these can occur with a varying degree of severity.
A mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person feels, thinks, behaves, and interacts with other people. It is diagnosed according to standardised criteria. The term mental disorder is also used to refer to these health problems.
Pre COVID-19, meetings took place weekly in towns and cities all over Ireland, at the moment we are currently conducting all of our meetings online. From late September 2020 we will begin to reopen groups to existing members, where it is safe to do so. Online meetings are available to new members so CLICK HERE to register you interest.
Yes, if you think you can benefit from, listening to and hearing stories of hope and recovery. If you are open to allowing your group to advise you and make suggestions about changes they made in their lives and how they might work for you. If you are open to listening and adapting then yes peer support could ultimately change your life and ultimately improve how you feel.
Everyone is different. Some people feel very positive even after their first meeting. While others really need toattend a number of meetings before they understand how The Grow Program might work for them. Recovery takes time.
Yes, for the first meeting you can absolutely bring along a friend or family member.
No, in fact it is advised to just listen for the first three meetings, unless you wish to comment on a reading, ask a question or tell the group how you found the meeting.
- We admitted we had lost our way and needed direction.
- We took our courage in our hands and asked for help.
- We trusted in the greater power of life and love and the world around us.
- We acknowledged our gifts and our strengths.
- We also tackled our weaknesses and failures.
- We committed to the journey even though the tough times.
- We took care and control of our bodies.
- We learned to think by reason rather than by feelings and imagination.
- We developed will power to do the right thing in spite of our feelings.
- We took our responsible and caring place in society.
- We grew daily closer to maturity.
- We carried Grow’s message to others in need.
Yes, the other members of the Group will have had experience of dealing with a range of relationship problems and they can direct you to parts of The Grow Program which deal specifically with relationships.
Yes, the other members of the group may have had similar experiences and they can make suggestions on how they worked through grief etc.
Yes, anxiety would be one of the more common challenges experienced by members of Grow Mental Health and the group will be able to discuss their experiences and share suggestions on how they over-came their challenges with anxiety. Once the group understand how your anxiety affects your life they may also suggest a simple weekly task to help you specifically overcome this difficulty.
Yes, again unfortunately depression is another of the more common challenges experienced by members of Grow Mental Health. The other group members will be able to discuss their experiences and make suggestions on how they have learned to cope with depression. Again the group may suggest a weekly task to help you specifically with this difficulty.
A Grower is someone who has decide to apply The Grow Program and its wisdom to how they live their life and how they interact with the world around them. Growers can be referred to as Beginning Growers, Progressing Growers and Seasoned Growers depending on how long they have been a member and where they are on their journey to recovery.
If you are struggling with life’s challenges and feel you are finding things more difficult than others around you, then you might be in need of some Mental Health support.
Steps 11 and 12 of the Program are based on the premise that a person is more like to maintain their mental health if they help others. We refer to the work of these two steps as “12 step work”. Growers often remain in Grow to give to others wisdom and support which they receive at the beginning of the journey. This part of the journey becomes a purpose for many Growers.
The Grow Method Card is really an agenda card which everybody can use to follow the meeting. It is separated into five sections.
Grow meetings are structured so that it has five parts where the meeting is divided into sections, allowing all present time to talk.
We structure the meeting through use of The Program (The Grow Program Book). We pause for half a minute silence to collect our thoughts. We then read the twelve steps, then the commitment to confidentiality. At this stage if anyone is in crisis, we would devote time to supporting them. If there are no urgent or pressing problems we continue to a personal story. This is where a member would share their story of recovery or their ongoing battle with mental health, it is very moving and personal, and it usually resonates with other people who can relate to different aspects of their story.
After discussion and feedback, we begin the reports on progress including current problem solving. Each member can reflect on the week and any difficulties they may have encountered. With support and problem solving from the group and overtime the member develops more insight into their current problem. We also encourage the member to take on a “Weekly task”, this could be a phone call they have been avoiding or keeping an appointment.
For some people, part of becoming unwell involves retracting from society, maybe become quieter than they had been previously. Reading aloud in the safety of a familiar group allows us to become comfortable with hearing our voice again and allows us to begin to rebuild our confidence.
Research conducted by Trinity College Dublin in 2017 examined the ‘transformative power’ of Grow’s peer-support programme in assisting recovery from mental illness. The research found that peer and community support, as well as everyday social interactions, play a vital role in mental health recovery.
The research concluded that those engaging with GROW Mental Health Recovery were:
- Less likely to say they were ‘bothered’ by their symptoms
- More likely to be coping well with their mental and emotional well-being
- Less likely to have had a relapse in the last year
- More likely to participate in community activities regularly
- More likely to achieve a personal goal
- More likely to have found it to have a positive effect on employment
- More likely to have a positive sense of their self-esteem
- More likely to feel ‘very optimistic’ about the future
- Unlikely to require hospitalisation for mental health reasons
- More likely to take part in physical exercise