See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership and its 90 partner organisations, including GROW, are rolling out the Green Ribbon Campaign again this May to get people talking openly about mental health problems.
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May 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

We also Tackled our Weaknesses and Failures

This piece on Step 5 of GROW’s 12 Step Program, “we also tackled our weaknesses and failures”, was kindly provided by Stan.

To delay or put on the long finger indefinitely the task of tackling our weaknesses and failures we won’t use comparisons like I’m not as bad as Hitler! I’m not as bad as Stalin! That is too exaggerated.

But we will use other more homemade examples to get ourselves off the hook and give ourselves permission to drag our feet. ‘Look at the politicians! Look at the Bankers!’ we say. I don’t push drugs. I don’t rob. And so on. I’m not as bad as that.

Thank God you are not that bad. But don’t flatter yourself. Don’t say ‘I’m not wrong; I’m not at fault because so-and-so gets away with it.’ Using the sins and mistakes of others to excuse yourself from the grind and drill of self-improvement is dishonest. The truth is every evil, big or small, adds to the sum total of badness in the world. Each of us contributes to the size and volume of that darkness and sin. Do you enhance or diminish this mountain of negative rubbish?
[Read full article...]

Green Ribbon Month of May

See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership and its 90 partner organisations, including GROW, are rolling out the Green Ribbon Campaign again this May to get people talking openly about mental health problems. The aim is to make the month of May every year synonymous with promoting open conversation of mental health and challenging the stigma of mental health problems.

There are a huge number of events taking place nationwide and a list will shortly be available on the Green Ribbon Events page. Check out the 2015 impact report. You can show your support on-line by adding a Green Ribbon to your profile picture.

The campaign was officially launched by Niall Breslin (aka “Bressie”) at the Barack Obama Plaza on Wed 27th April. Green Ribbons can be ordered from See Change or obtained from local librariesIrish Rail stations, Citizens Information Centres or MABs Offices - so there’s no excuse not to wear one!

[See what Mental Health events are on in May...]

News from the Mid West

It's been a busy month in the Mid West region. The regional weekend took place in beautiful sunshine in The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon on 23/24 April. There was a great testimony from Tommy and some excellent workshops from area co-ordinators Mary Purcell & James O'Halloran and National Program Co-ordinator Christine Fitzgerald. Rose composed a positive poem summarising the weekend and Simon sent us some of his reflections on personal value. Both pieces are on the GROW website but here's a taster: -

Our weekend was magical
Out in West Clare
And the sun set the mood
As we gathered first day.
Ennistymon so pretty
The Falls Hotel grand
Each event was so chilled out
And really well-planned....

Big thanks to Joan Diffley, Mary & James for organising everything and making it a wonderful respite weekend for the 50 GROWers attending.

A number of people donned GROW running tops for the Great Limerick Run. We had 4 in the half-marathon and another 4 in the 6 mile event. These included a number of trainees from the Garda Training College in Templemore, so huge thanks to them all for getting involved. If you wish to sponsor the team, please see our page on iDonate. As an added bonus, two of our runners from last year featured on this year's brochure - the GROW tops are easy to pick out in the crowd!

In case any of you missed Mary Purcell's excellent interview with Derry O'Malley's "Headspace" Show on Limerick City Community Radio, the podcast is now available.

Cycle Against Suicide – 2016

Cycle Against Suicide is an initiative started in 2013 by Irish entrepreneur, Jim Breen, as a result of his appearance on RTE’s The Secret Millionaire programme. The main objective of the Cycle is to raise awareness of the considerable help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. The Cycle Against Suicide community is determined to let people in every corner of the island of Ireland know that it’s OK not to feel OK and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help. Together, shoulder to shoulder, we can break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland.

The cycle started off in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday 24th April and concludes back in Dublin on Saturday 7th May. GROW provided stands at a number of the events around the country, such as Stranolar (Donegal, courtesy of Maria Whelan) and some cyclists were spotted wearing the GROW cycling top. We were also sending out a daily Tweet with an appropriate limerick.
[Read more...]

News from the West

The Western Regional Weekend takes place in Esker on 27-29th May. Contact your area co-ordinator for details.

The Ballinasloe GROW group has been re-opened: Tuesdays at 7pm in the Galway East Life Support (GELS) Building (at side of Credit Union), Main Street, Ballinasloe, Galway.

12th Step Walking Group in Castlebar
We all know how important exercise is. Staying fit has a knock-on effect on so many aspects of our general health. It helps keeps our weight down, our hearts and lungs healthy, increases fitness and strength, helps with better quality sleep, increases energy levels as well as improving our mental outlook and mood.

For some of us, lack of exercise is an issue and motivation to move can be difficult, especially on your own, so doing something as a group can be really helpful when it comes to starting exercising. With this in mind, the Castlebar GROW group decided to start a 12th step walking group before their Monday meeting now that the Spring evenings are bright and long. We know that starting is the hardest part, so we picked a day and resolved to stick to it, rain or shine! ‘When the time to keep a resolution has come, don’t examine any more the pros and cons, just do it’. Castlebar has Lough Lannagh right in the centre with a new purpose built path and bridge around the Lough. The route is approximately 2km and not a difficult walk, which means lots of opportunities to admire the fabulous Primroses and reflections on the water. It’s a social walk, with people of all ages and abilities out enjoying the facilities. Runners, joggers and walkers all use the paths.

We have a few walk rules that should help us to keep enjoying the walk. We will walk rain or shine (our first outing required waterproofs!), we will walk at the pace of the slowest walker, we will use the opportunity to admire the views and engage with our environment and we will encourage one another when it gets a bit difficult. Week one was a good start and hopefully we’ll soon see the benefits, increase our time and maybe get round twice in a few weeks.

News from the North East & West

A special thanks to Noeleen in the North West for getting Craig to carry the Grow logo on the Cycle Against Suicide event. Over 200 cyclists  left Virginia on Mon 25th April from Virginia Secondary School and and it is fabulous to see so many young people being made aware of the message and also so many taking part in the Cycle itself. Hope you catch up with them along the way and give Craig a Cheer.

GROW also participated in other stands in Stranolar, Donegal (see above).

News from the South East

GROW in the South East are delighted to be taking part once again in the Cycle against Suicide. Local schools, business and members of the community will help turn Wexford, Gorey and Arklow orange. With a flow of orange balloons, banners and ribbons brighten up our towns, sending out the message that is “Its OK not to feel OK and its absolutely OK to ask for help”.

On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th May, GROW are having stands, promoting the message, and spreading the message to people that we have weekly support groups to help people who are struggling, isolated, alone or just need to talk. GROW is unique in the fact that we provide weekly support to members, and they do not need to be referred. With the Cycle against Suicide getting the media’s attention, it is a time people go looking for local supports, and GROW are delighted to promote that they have groups that meet weekly in Wexford town, Enniscorthy, two groups in Gorey and a group in Arklow.

News from the East

Glendalough Weekend
Best wishes to the Eastern and Midland Regions who are joining together for the Regional Weekend in the Glendalough Hotel from 6th – 8th May.

Eastern Workplace Program
Workplace presentations have been given in the Eastern Region to staff in the following: Family Carers Ireland, Smithfield; St Augustine’s School, Blackrock; ACCORD Central Office, Swords; St Clare’s Nursing Home, Griffith Avenue;  Dublin City Council, Merchants Quay;  Foroige, Tallaght; and Dublin Volunteer centres, County Hall, Talllaght.  Presentations will be given to SAGE staff in May.  Very positive feedback was received.

News from the Midlands

On Friday April 29th, members of the Mullingar and Edenderry groups met in Mullingar Rock n Bowl. A good time was had by all, as we chatted over teas and coffees and nibbled wings and chips while bowling a few frames for our 12th step practice.

Mullingar meets every last Friday of the month for Coffee Night at the Greville Arms Hotel in Mullingar.

This year, members from the Midlands are teaming up with the Eastern region for the Regional Weekend in Glendalough.

Clear your Mind and run for GROW

The health benefits of running are well known - read how neuroscientists explain the mind-clearing magic of running. We in GROW love to hear from GROWers and their families, friends or supporters who are interested in running for GROW. Running tops and sponsorship cards are available from most GROW offices nationwide - all you need do is register for an upcoming run and then contact us. GROW mainly uses iDonate for on-line fundraising.  The next big event is of course the VHI Women's Mini Marathon, with entries closing shortly.

Participating in a mass sporting event wearing a GROW top not only helps with fundraising but also, importantly, helps to advertise GROW and spread the message to those in need.  There are also free timed 5k Park Runs nationwide every Saturday morning and these are ideal ways to get started.

Happy Running!
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