Make it your business to attend one of the many events which are on nationwide as part of Mental Health Week 2014.
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GROW 12th Step Program - Step 10

We took our responsible and caring place in society. This article on Step 10 of the GROW 12 Step Program explores the topic of How to Stop Being a Victim.  This is an extract from Soul Survivors 3 which is being launched in Portlaoise and Limerick this month.

© Ayzek09 |
  1. Feeling that we are a victim is often caused by self-obsession and isolation. We truly believe that we are hard done by and everyone else is having the life of Riley. Yet a key part of GROW is to ‘Decentralize’. By listening to others at the meeting we learn that everyone struggles and suffers setbacks from time to time...
  2. Many of us were the victim of constant criticism as children from parents/elders. As adults we may have to put up with negativity from family members, work colleagues etc. It is natural that a child will believe what they are told. However as adults it is our choice what we believe about ourselves. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”....
  3. Many of us in GROW have gone through experiences that deeply scarred us. We learn that we can’t ignore such experiences. They cannot be wished away – “that which you suppress will have its day”. On the other hand to keep harping on about our hurts is like constantly picking at a scab. Doing so slows the healing process and may actually cause a more serious infection...
  4. Psychologist Maureen Gaffney writes about how “people respond to big crises or trauma in two main ways – by constructing either redemption stories or contamination stories . . . the key difference between redemption and contamination stories is whether people can reframe the crisis as a positive turning point”...
  5. If after many months in GROW we stay stuck on past hurts, the question must be asked do we believe in recovery? GROW at its core is about us creating a new narrative of recovery, growth, redemption. Refusal to go on this journey begs the question: why are we in GROW? GROW cannot change our past, it is meant to help us move beyond it...
Please read the full article on line...

The GROW in Ireland Newsletter Team

News and Updates from around the Country

GROW National Weekend and AGM

A record number of over 250 GROWers gathered in the Clayton Hotel, Galway, for the annual AGM and National Weekend. The overall theme of the weekend was 'Stigma, Real and Imaginary'. and in addition to some excellent, moving testimonies by GROWers from the Western and Mid Western regions, other highlights from the weekend included: -
  • The release of the GROW 2013 Annual Report at the AGM.
  • Launch of the Galway Writer's Group booklet - Every Second Monday - by Galway Poet, Rita Ann Higgins.
  • An inspirational, moving and witty talk by Dil Wickremasinghe, social change and mental health campaigner who presents Newstalk's Global Village Show.
  • Sneak preview of GROW's new video which is due to be launched this week. This features Dil and a few well known GROW personalities.
  • Relaxation and Mindfulness workshops with Derry O'Malley, who has his own 'Headspace' Show on Limerick City Community Radio.
  • Moving and interesting talk on Stigma, 'In My Head', by SeeChange Ambassador & Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers BloggerFiona Kennedy.
  • Michael Ryan from ARI (Advancing Recovery Ireland) delivered a badly needed uplifting message. Touching on his own experiences he shared how ARI has set up a Recovery College in Mayo which is engaged with the mental health services to ensure that the voice of the patient is listened to and that this voice has an important role in shaping the service.
  • During the dinner dance volunteer awards were presented to GROWers from around the country and Stan Mellet was awarded the inaugural GROW Person of the Year award.
  • The crew and cast of the Eoin Colfer 'Holy Mary' Play put on a great show to entertain GROWers in attendance and to highlight the serious nature of bullying.
Read full article on our website...

Preparing for Mental Health Week in the Midlands

As part of Laois Connects Week, the Midland Region will hold a book launch of Soul Survivors Vol 3.  Renowned singer, Ms. Trudi Lalor, will launch the book in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise, on Mon 6th Oct at 8:00pm.   A GROW information evening will also be held in Portlaoise Parish Centre on Wed 8th Oct at 8:00pm. 

There are also a number of Community Education (Gatekeeper) courses commencing in October: -
  • The Family Centre, St Mel's Road, Longford, commencing 7th Oct 10:30-12:30.
  • The Prince of Wales Hotel, Church Street, Athlone, commencing 6th Oct 7:30-9:30pm.
  • The Parish Centre, Portlaoise, commencing 6th Nov 7:30-9:30pm.
  • St. Joseph's Community Centre, Kilcormac, Co Offaly commencing 10th Nov 7:30-9:30pm.
All are welcome.  Contact local GROW office 057 93 51124 , John 086 8033126 or Assumpta 086 811 4135 for details. Community Education Courses are free, but advance booking is required.

Laois Connects Week includes a talk on ‘How to raise emotionally healthy children’ in The Orchard Hotel, Portarlington at 7.30pm on Mon 6th Oct. In Mullingar on Thurs 9th Oct, there is a Free Seminar entitled “Who Cares for the Carer?” from 10am-4pm, in the Annebrook Hotel. Longford Mental Health Association are hosting a Song & Dance Evening, Longford Arms Hotel, Thurs  9th Oct @ 8pm.

Volunteering for your Mental Health!

Mayo Area Co-ordinator, Shauna Jackson, will be presenting a talk entitled ‘The Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering’ on the 7th Oct in GMIT, Castlebar as part of the Mayo Volunteer Centre expo, which has the theme: Make a Difference – in your community and in yourself!  Speaking of volunteering, Irish Aid also have their annual Volunteer Fair on 11th Oct, 11am- 4pm in The Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. 

It's not too late to nominate volunteers for the Volunteer Ireland Awards - closing date for nominations is 24th Oct. With the host of interesting, informative and free events taking place during Mental Health Week, there are sure to be plenty of worthy recipients across multiple award categories. Volunteers are the lifeblood of many organisations in Ireland and we congratulate Stan Mellett on his recent GROW Person of the Year award for his outstanding contribution to GROW over many years.

Chocolate and Cycling in the South East!

GROW will be holding “Feel Good” Coffee & Chocolate events throughout Mental Health week. Why not come along for a chat and enjoy some chocolate – after all there has to be something in all the statements that chocolate makes you feel good. For more information call Ellen on 087 2291718.
  • Enniscorthy, The Presentation Centre – Mon 6th Oct at 7.30pm.
  • Tullow, Forward Steps – Tues 7th Oct at 11.30am.
  • Arklow, Arus Lorcain Centre – Wed 8th Oct at 11.30am.
  • Gorey Family Resource Centre – Fri 10th Oct at 11.00am
Further south in Dungarvan, another Cycle Against Suicide SpinOff event takes place on Sat 18th Oct. Rumour has it that this is going to be a big one, so early registration is advisable. Registration is also now open for the 2015 Student Leaders' Congress - the 2014 event was a huge success.

Carlow Mensana Fest (6-11 Oct), with Mental Health Ireland, HSE, GROW and others, kicks off with official opening of the popup Rainbow Cafe on Mon 6th @ 10:30am by GROW Patron John Lonergan. John is then delivering a talk @ 11:30am in Seven Oaks Hotel, introduced by Mary Walsh from GROW.


Upbeat in Dublin

GROW Eastern Region are holding a safeTALK – Suicide Alertness workshop on 15th Oct in Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin from 2pm-5.30pm. 
  • Expect to be challenged. Expect to have feelings. Expect to be hopeful.
  • See powerful reminders of why it is important to be suicide alert. Ask questions and enter discussions. Learn clear and practical information on what to do.
  • Practise the TALK (Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe) – steps by which you can connect a person who has suicidal thoughts to suicide first-aid intervention caregivers.
Please note: safeTALK is for over 18’s only and is not recommended for those bereaved by a suicide in the past 6 months. Participant names/applications must to be forwarded to the Resource Officer via the GROW Area Coordinators (Louise 086-7706067 or Leo 086-8033124) one week before the date of training. 

For the full duration of Mental Health week (6-10 Oct), St Patrick's Mental Health Services will host Ireland's first pop-up radio station to promote positive attitudes to mental health - Upbeat on Air. Well known personalities will be talking about mental health throughout the week and listeners can nominate their most uplifting songs, so get voting now! Station will be available within Dublin and also on-line. St. Pat's also have their Founder's Day academic forum on Thurs 9th Oct.

Finish the week off in an uplifting mood at the St John of God Hospital Free Concert with Dublin Gospel Choir on World Mental Health Day, Fri 10th Oct @ 8pm, Stillorgan.

Busy Month in the Mid West

September has been an exceptionally busy month in Limerick, Clare & Tipperary. GROW was represented at the inaugural Consumer Panel Conference in Thomond Park on 8th Sept. This was an excellent event with some great speakers including Dr Shari McDaid (Mental Health Reform), Michael Ryan (ARI) and Paddy McGowan (HSE). Great credit is due to the organising Limerick committee. You can listen to Derry O'Malley's interview with Angie on-line.

On 21st Sept, a large crowd gathered in the fabulous Clarisford Park for the first Colour Killaloe event. The feedback from this happy fundraising event was extremely positive and huge thanks to Ciara McCullough and her team for organising it and raising over €3,500 for GROW. Many thanks to the GROW staff and volunteers who also turned out in numbers on the day. GROW would also like to thank the Augustinian Church in Limerick who afforded GROW area co-ordinator, Mary Purcell, the opportunity to talk and give out information at a recent healing service.

GROW have been working closely with Limerick Mental Health Association in the preparations for Limerick Mental Health Week which kicks off with the SMRC Urban Run on Sun 5th and concludes with a Gala Concert in the Southcourt on Fri 10th Oct. The week was launched on Tues 23rd Sept in Mayor Michael Sheahan's office where GROW National Program Co-ordinator, Christine Fitzgerald, had arranged for Women's Irish Rugby stars Fiona Hayes and Gillian Bourke to be in attendance. Gillian spoke wonderfully at this event.

GROW has a number of open invitation events taking place in the region (33 Henry St, Limerick unless stated otherwise): -
  • Mon 6th (11-12:30): Information coffee morning in Clarecare, Ennis.
  • Tues 7th (2:30-2pm): Soul Survivors 3 book launch with Orla Muldoon (UL).
  • Wed 8th (11-1pm): Open GROW group - come along and see what a meeting is like.
  • Thurs 9th (12-1pm): Creative writing workshop (GROW members only).
  • Thurs 9th (7pm): “Have we bottled it?“, Abbeyfeale & District Ltd and Limerick Social Service Council Ltd, Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine.  Free seminar chaired by GROW National Program Coordinator, Christine Fitzgerald.
  • Fri 10th (11-12): Wellness & Stress Management Talk with Michael Delaney.
Ennis Mental Health Association are hosting a free lecture by Dr. Harry Barry on Thurs 9th Oct @7:30pm in Templegate Hotel, Ennis: ‘Flagging Depression – A Four Step Approach to Recovery’ and further west, there is a “Night of Colours” fundraising dinner dance for William Winder Foundation, Bellbridge House Hotel, Spanish Point, Co. Clare. Sat 11th Oct.

Southern Region News and Events

Retired GROW area co-ordinator and current Program Team member, Michael Manning, does great work down in Cork and he organised the annual Southern Region field trip on 9th Aug. Brian from the Cork Young Adult group describes the experience:

I had a lovely time on the Day Trip to Lough Gur. The weather was changeable but thankfully stayed nice for most of the day. For me, the stand out memory was the food. Starting in the morning when the bus pulled in for breakfast, and as nice as that was, it was surpassed by the dinner.

The day consisted of a very relaxing boat cruise on board the Spirit of Killaloe. The staff at Killaloe River Cruises were very knowledgeable about the local area and gave us many interesting facts to take home.

After dinner we visited Lough Gur, a lough in Country Limerick in the shape of a horse shoe, which has been inhabited by humans since 3000 BC. Luckily the Neolithic people didn’t pay property tax – as the ring fort we visited named “Grange” is the biggest in Ireland! The visitor center here was very interesting, but the weather was turning against us – so we turned for home! 

A number of events are taking place in Cork during Mental Health week 2014: -  

Mental Health Week 2014

There are too many events taking place across the country to include in this newsletter, so our advice to you is find an event in your local area and get out & get talking. For all the latest updates, we recommend you keep checking the following sites: - During Mental Health week, GROW plans to launch our new video, so keep an eye out on GROW's YouTube Channel! Also, from Oct 2014 through to Mar 2015, GROW will have information leaflets displayed in GP surgeries and health centres nationwide.

Have a good week and make the most of it - it only comes around once a year! As we say in GROW, "Mental health can't be taught, it has to be learned together".
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