No limits for Norah’s mental health

83-year-old grandmother masters Zoom to join GROW Mental Health Recovery meeting online

Watch the heart-warming reception Norah (bottom left) receives from GROW members and staff when she logs on for the first time

A county Laois grandmother of has proved that age is no barrier to learning a new skill or taking steps to look after your mental health.

83-year-old Norah from Mountmellick illustrated that not even a global pandemic could stop her from joining her local GROW Mental Health Recovery support group as she learned how to use Zoom technology for the first time.

GROW Mental Health Recovery is a community-based peer support group that meet in communities throughout Ireland every week and Norah has been attending her local group for many years in Mountmellick.

However, the restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak meant that all physical groups were suspended, leaving many people without the supports provided by this essential service.

In order to service the needs of their members, GROW moved quickly to start online group meetings and when that option became available, Norah was determined not to be left behind and with the assistance of GROW Area Co-ordinator, Michelle McCormick, the very eager grandmother quickly learned how to use the technology on her new tablet.

Norah’s determination and hard work paid off on Thursday May 21st when she logged into her first online meeting and it was fitting that her group members had a very special welcome to mark her return after over two months.

GROW Mental Health Recovery CEO Michele Kerrigan was one of those at the special Zoom reception and she paid tribute to Norah’s attitude as a wonderful example to every around the country.

“We are so proud of what Norah has done and we are delighted to have her back in our groups. She is an inspiration to everyone in the organisation and hopefully she will inspire others to get up and running on Zoom and continue to contribute to our groups.

“Covid-19 has brought about many challenges in terms of mental health and it is vital that we stay connected in any way we can. As a result, I would also like to pay tribute to our many members around the country who have adapted to the new technology over the past few weeks and have put in a great effort to get our groups up and running online,” added Michele.

Norah thanked all who had helped her learn the technology and spoke of her delight at getting back to the group.

“I am shocked that I finally made it on to the group as I was a little bit nervous because I always had a fear of this technology. I decided I would give it a go and I am delighted because it is great to see everyone again and break the isolation,” explained Norah.

If you are interested in finding out more about GROW Mental Health Recovery visit www.grow.ie or call 1890 474 474. If you would like to join an online group send an email with a contact number to [email protected].

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