What our mental health peers say about us
"Long before the term recovery became trendy, Grow had already stumbled upon the secret and even more importantly, didn’t attempt to keep it a secret. Special congratulations to all of the members of Grow on the success of your extraordinary movement which has cut through a lot of noise and distraction to focus on what matters – community, relationships, mutual support and healing through confidence building. By refusing to be seduced by quick fixes, gadgets and sophisticated ‘cure-alls’ you have remained faithful to a simple, yet wholesome philosophy. You continue to listen, reflect and respect and this essence is where recovery lies. By taking the time to be truly present, accepting and attuned you have made, and will continue to make a profound difference. Since I first encountered Grow in the mid 1980’s I have admired its noble stoicism and its apparent simplicity. Over its lifetime, Grow has somehow managed to become a magically renewable resource, the more you give to others, the more you get back for yourself. In changing and uncertain times, at times of personal distress, hopelessness and vulnerability, Grow has always been a safe harbour, a place of rest and nourishment. This is a great service and many have found refuge through your work. Over the years Grow has been very fortunate to attract and retain some extraordinary leaders who bring wisdom, insight and humility, this has genuinely been your great strength and good fortune. Congratulations to all of those who quietly go about this authentic and gentle work without being distracted by the bells and whistles of popularity."
"‘Grow is synonymous with recovery; the key recovery concepts of hope, education, support, self-advocacy, and personal responsibility seen within WRAP and the elements of CHIME, connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment and also the values as seen in a National Framework for Recovery in Mental Health 2018-2020 , hope, empowerment and self-determination. Personally, I joined Grow when I found myself at a loss after the death of my mother. I found great benefit in attending the group in Kilkenny and enjoyed the peer support from the group while giving back in return. The sense of reciprocity helped to give me strength and meaning again - building up my own resilience. "
"Grow has played a consistently important role within mental health care in Ireland for several decades. I have had associations with Grow since my best-selling book Beyond Prozac was published in 2001. I have spoken at several Grow conferences over the years. In my work with clients, I regularly refer to the work of Grow and the wisdom that permeates much of Grow’s approach, especially empowering aspects of Grow’s approach and work. I have had considerable contact with Mike Watts over these years, which I have greatly valued. I regularly quote some of Grow’s wise sayings to clients, such as ‘Do the next right thing’; ‘I can compel my muscles and limbs to act rightly in spite of my feelings’; ‘I alone can do it, but I cannot do it alone’. I wish Grow continued growth and success for the next fifty years. Best wishes,"
"We were always happy to accommodate and host the National Grow Executive meetings in Cahir. Mary was a member of the Grow Executive and thought Aiséirí was ideally situated for yet another group to open in the County. Some residents in Aiséirí needed extra support because of Mental Health issues and were introduced to Grow. This proved to be a very fitting introduction for people to familiarise themselves with the Grow groups and were subsequently able to attend the groups in their own local towns. Aiséirí’s gift to Grow has always been free rental accommodation. I became involved fully in the Grow Group in Aiséirí after resigning my post as Director It is now the most rewarding two hours of my week. It supported me in the difficult days of readjusting. The exceptional wisdom of the program has over the years helped me to live a day by day programme. Trying to be faithful to my ‘weekly practical task’ when the group is always aware of each person’s special needs to be worked on. One of the greatest strengths of the Grow group is ‘friendship’ the bond which takes place, is a ‘spiritual carrying’ of each other throughout the week. The ‘cup of tea’ and chat before we return home after the group is like a stimulant, no matter how difficult the sharing, a sort of peace and calm descends. The connect between the Co-Ordinator’s, Central Office and the Membership is the back-bone of Grow and our Irish founders. It keeps the founding spirit alive - the awareness of the wonderful blessings and Awakening in Con Keogh 50 years ago, of the great tragedy, suffering, and neglect of the MENTALLY ILL. Thank you Con for the Peace you have brought to many and May you rest in Peace, Amen."
"In my 30 years working as a psychiatrist I have witnessed the substantial benefits Grow has given to many people. I have also had the privilege of attending and presenting at both regional and national Grow conferences. In June 2013, at the regional conference held in Esker, Athenry, myself and social worker Paula Street presented on our experience of developing a recovery focussed community mental health service. Our central theme was that recovery is what individuals do for themselves, it is our job in the mental health services to facilitate that recovery. Both Paula and I remained for the rest of the conference and this gave us an opportunity to meet with Growers and to experience first hand the warmth, support and professionalism that is so characteristic of Grow meetings. As we all welcome the Recovery movement in Ireland, with emphasis now placed on personal recovery as well as clinical recovery, it is clear that Grow can continue to play a central role in this. The use of the personal narrative, the support people receive from other Growers and then the very practical guidance offered through the Grow program all have the goal of supporting personal recovery. Please continue to invite psychiatrists, and trainees to attend your conferences - this provides a unique insight that can only improve our practice. "
"It is the Golden Anniversary of Grow a birthday few could have envisaged when it began its vital advocacy for new ways of looking at and addressing mental health. From the germ of an idea that was so badly needed Grow has grown to become a vital centre of gravity all over the country as individuals, families, workplaces, communities and experts work together to bring hope and help as part of what is now a world mental health movement. There are thousands of stories to be told of the difference Grow has made and the next fifty years will see thousands more. Grow got here by the sheer effort and determination of its staff, volunteers, supporters, donors and all the men, women and children who have made use of its services. and in doing so changed their lives. Thank you to all of them for these past fifty years and here’s hoping the next fifty will see our country open up to even greater transformation as Grow highlights mental wellbeing. With every good wish from"