How it all began

The founder of Grow Mental Health, Con Keogh found help for his own Mental Health difficulties by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, though not an alcoholic himself.

Along with a small number of others whom he met at these meetings, the idea was born, to set up a special group to work specifically on problems related to recovery from mental illness. He was thus a member of the first Grow group which met at Hurstville, Sydney, on April 27, 1957.

The wisdom they gained in helping each other to overcome life’s challenges and recover from mental illness was carefully recorded and forms the basis of the unique Grow Program. The model they developed was exceptionally innovative, supporting personal power, control and self-determination of people with a mental illness at a time when recovery from mental illness was not believed to be possible.

Grow came to Ireland in 1969 through Sean O’Hanlon a priest who had returned from missionary work in Tasmania and began in the small parish of Athea, Co. Limerick. Today Grow has over 100 community groups that meet each week in towns and cities all over Ireland.