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April 2019 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

Cavan Institute of Technology Completing Certificate in Community Mental Health

Eileen Clevenger Area Co-Ordinator with GROW  recently had the wonderful opportunity to present the work we do to a group of students at Cavan Institute of Technology, who are completing their Certificate in Community Mental Health.

The course explores what can work for people who are experiencing mental health difficulties in supporting personal recovery and is a new initiative developed by University College Cork and Mental Health Ireland.

The students, 26 in total, are comprised of individuals who are using or have used mental health services, friends and/or family members of service users, individuals from the voluntary sector as well as staff from organisations who have contact with service users.

As well as the presentation highlighting the work of GROW, there was a live testimony from Mary (Killeshandra GROW group) which was very well received. The students expressed their gratitude at her ‘very personal and real contribution to the evening’.

There were students on the course who had previously attended GROW meetings and they mentioned the positive experiences they had attending GROW services and how important GROW was as a launching pad for their Recovery.

Other presentations on the night included Cavan / Monaghan Drugs Awareness and Mental Health Ireland, which provided an opportunity for networking and further promotion of GROW

Change your Mind Festival

The “Change Your Mind Festival” took place on the 30th & 31st of March 2019. The free Health Promotion event was organised by HSE in  Sligo / Leitrim Mental Health Services. The aim of the festival was to raise awareness regarding the importance of prevention and fight against Stigma in Mental Health. 

It was an interactive & inspiring weekend with over 4,000 people in attendance over the 2 days. It had something to offer all the family; cookery demonstrations, music, arts and crafts, kids art workshops, mindfulness, yoga, and many guest speakers attended who spoke about various Mental Health related topics.

Pictured at the event were

Top left  An unexpected visitor who did not reveal themsleves. 

Bottom Left: Rosarii Mannion- National HR Director, Health Service Executive alongside Marie Hanley  Grow Coordinator.   

Pictrued Right The Colorful Grow Stand

Rosarii paid a visit to the Grow stand and commended the valuable work Grow does within the community.  Marie Hanley manned the Stand over the two Days at the Weekend and was ably assisted by Grow members from the Sligo Group

World Health Day 2019: Theme and Significance of The Day Dedicated to Healthcare for All

Just like every year, World Health Day 2019 was observed worldwide on 7th of April which fell on a Sunday this year. This day dedicated to spreading awareness about equal healthcare facilities worldwide, the importance of health and wellness, and to kill all the myths around health. Health is the most essential aspect of our lives, and infact, our existence depends on our health and well-being. World health day is an initiative started by the World Health Organisation to generate awareness about access to good health for everyone. World Health Day also marks WHO's founding, and is seen as an opportunity to induce worldwide attention to global health each year. The History of World Health Day dates back to the year 1948 when the World Health Assembly was held for the first time in Geneva by the WHO, and it was decided that World Health Day will be celebrated annually on April 7, every year. Different organisations across the world hold various events related to World Health Day on international levels. 

Are you ready ladies

Join our GROW Community for the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon and help us raise essential funds for our support services across Ireland. Sign up early to make sure you’re in!

We need your support so that we can continue to provide our community-based services for people living with mental health difficulties

Your support made a difference to us in 2018. Let's make 2019 even better!! 

This years event is will be held on the 2nd June @ in Dublin. 

Walk, Jog, Run - it's up to You!!

Remember! You must register with Vhi Women's Mini Marathon 

Four members of Arklow Group have already signed up to the Women's Mini Marathon they are Stephanie, Ann R, Catherine and Ellen. Their aim is to raise much needed funds and awareness of GROW in Ireland and its work.  We would like to thank the ladies and wish them well in their training.  

To Hell & Back

Tara Messitt and her two daughters are ndertaking an upcoming HELL & BACKchallenge in aid of GROW.

Tara and the girls will take part in HELL & BACK on Sunday, June 16th at Kilruddery Estate in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

HELL & BACK is Ireland’s largest and most popular obstacle course run, where participants must complete a 10-15 km trail route crossing rivers and lakes, climbing hills and mountains and crawling through bogs and swamps.

To complete the challenge, they must conquer all the elements thrown at them whether that is the temperamental weather conditions, the gruelling natural environment or the torturous man-made obstacles. 

“I’ve chosen to fundraise for GROW in Ireland and all funds raised will go directly to this great cause,” highlights Tara.

Please support Tara  in her fundraising endeavours, visit the iDonate page set up in aid of GROW.

Edenderry Tesco Community Fund

GROW was again nominated as a recepient of the Edenderry Tesco Community Fund.  GROW was presented with a cheque in the sum of €364.74.  We thank Tesco Staff, Mary Conway, store manager Bernie  and last but by no means least Tesco Teddy Bear.   The presentation took place on April 5th at the Edenderry Store.  Edenderry Tesco are also accommodating a flag day collection for GROW on the 14th June.     

Pictured right is Michelle McCormick GROW Area Co-Ordinator and left Martha Bermingham receiving the cheque at Tesco in Edenderry . At back are Mary Conway centre along with staff members and Tesco Teddy Bear

National Workplace Wellbeing Day 

Friday the 12th April marked the launch of Irelands 5th National Workplace Wellbeing Day. Public and private sector organisations across the country  participated in the day, which aims to improve employee health through promoting better physical activity and nutrition in the workplace. 

Launching Workplace Wellbeing Day 2019, Alan Quinlan, former international rugby player and wellness advocate said: “In an always on world, employees need to take care of their mental health and physical activity is a great way to do this, and to destress. Only 1 in 5 employees are doing the recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week and that’s why this is a great initiative to get people moving.”

The Green Ribbon campaign is Ireland’s national mental health awareness campaign from See Change.

See Change is Ireland’s organisation dedicated to ending mental health stigma. Its work is informed by people with lived experiences of mental health difficulties, who are best placed to give insight into mental health stigma. The aim of the campaign is to challenge the stigma associated with mental health difficulties and create an environment where people feel they can be open about their own and others mental health difficulties.

Orders for Green Ribbons are now available and can be placed, free of charge at

See Change will launch its 7th annual Green Ribbon campaign to end mental health stigma. This is the first year that  a dual launch will take place, launching in Cork as well as Dublin. Both launches are free.

The Dublin Launch will be held in the Mansion House Dublin, Dawson Street on Tuesday 30th April at 11am - 1pm.

Chaired by:    Barbara Brennan, See Change Project Coordinator

Speakers include:   Keynote Speaker, Hannah Tyrrell an Ireland women's rugby union international. 
Siobhan Bourke, Ireland Hr Manager, SSE Airtricity; See Change Workplace Programme
Ray Treacy See Change Ambassador

*Refreshments and registration from 10:45am. 

The link to register for your free ticket to the Dublin event is here;

The Cork Launch will be held in the Shine Resource Centre,14A Washington Street West, Cork Friday 3rd of May at 11am - 1pm.

Chaired by:   John Saunders, CEO of Shine
Speakers include:   Sancha Mulcahy, Senior HR Manager, Red Hat Ltd
Shine Representative Speaker

*Additional speakers to be announced.     *Refreshments and registration from 10:45am. 

The link to register for your free ticket to the Cork event is here;

As part of this month long campaign Shane Reid is organising a Walk and Talk event in Leebeen Park, Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford on 18th May, starting at 11am, as part of the See Change Green Ribbon campaign. Well known personalities such as Farmer Michael & Kathleen, Jimmy Jests, Joe Rooney and Seamus O'Rourke will be in attendance. Hopefully TD Kevin Boxer Moran and Fianna Fail spokesperson on Mental Health, James Browne, will also make an appearance along with various other mental health organisations.

Arklow Church Gate Collection 

A heartfelt thank you to John, Arklow group organizer for helping to organize Arklow Church Gate Collection on 13th-14th of April and covering all masses with Area Co-Ordinator Izabela Morris. Big thank you to members of Arklow group: Ann R, Joyce and Ellen and Grow supporter Niall for their time.  Whilst standing in the freezing cold the group brought the  message of hope to others.


Midlands Region Update

Community Educational Course:

GROW Midland Region completed their community education programme in the Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar with a presentation on “Coping with Bereavement & Loss” on Thursday 4th April and “Suicide: Recognising the Signs, Understanding & Supporting” on Thursday 11th April.  This course was very well attended and was ably supported by Assumpta and Michelle the Area Co-ordinators for the region.


The Medtronic Company of Athlone organised a Rock ‘N Roll Bingo for their staff in the Athlone Springs Hotel on Saturday evening 6th April.  A great night’s fun was had and the event raised €1606 for GROW Midland Region.  The region is indebted to the  staff who organised the event and to all who supported it including management. Based in Athlone, Meditronic is improving healthcare for more people, in more ways, and in more places than ever before.

Church Gate Collection:

The annual church gate collection was run in Mullingar Town on the weekend of 6th & 7th April.  GROW Midland Region was very generously supported with funds raised even higher than last year.  Staff, members and volunteers took part in the collection. GROW would like to thank the public for their continued support and generousity .

Disability Day:

The Department of Social Protection organised a Day for People with Disabilities on Wednesday 27th March in the Tullamore Court Hotel.  Pauline Clarke and Mary Hickey from the local office manned the table prividing the public with information on the supports GROW can offer throughout the region.   The event was very well attended and numerous people shared their stories with the staff members.

Up and Coming Big Hello Events

The following events will take place over the May Bank Holiday  as part of the Big Hello Weekend being organised throughout the country with the aid of grants from the local county council. It is hoped many members of the public will visit to meet staff and hear more about GROW.

On Saturday May 4th GROW Western Region will host a coffee afternoon from 2pm – 4pm in the Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe 

Mayo Day is a day dedicated to the celebration of culture and our community. Mayo Day is in its 5th Year running and aims to promote and encourage connection between members in our communities, fostering inclusivity for everyone

As part of this exciting initiative, GROW which runs 4 mental health support groups in Co Mayo, will be holding an information afternoon between 12 and 2pm on Friday 3rd May in the The Harlequin Hotel, Castlebar.  Everyone is welcome to come along, drop in for tea and coffee and learn more about this invaluable service available to all members of the community. If you have any questions about GROW or this information afternoon, please contact Emily on 086 4183543

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
On Monday May 6th GROW Eastern Region will host an information / coffee afternoon to launch the upcoming new Dun Laoghaire community group from 2pm – 4pm in The Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire. 

Limerick City
The Limerick GROW Office on 33 Henry Street, Limerick, will be hosting an event for the Sanctuary Runners and GROW teams who are taking part in the Great Limerick Run on Sunday 5th May. Any GROW members or supporters are welcome to drop in for a chat and refreshments between 12 and 2pm. For further details, contact Rob on 086 0625765.

GROW Midland Region will hold an event for the Big Hello Community Weekend sponsored by the Department of Community & Rural Development.  A coffee morning from 10.00am to 12.00pm  will be held in the Prince of Wales Hotel on Saturday 4th May.  All welcome. GROW staff will be there to spend time with members of the public who call.  An enjoyable morning will be had by all.


RISE - Resilience|Inspire|Spirit|Empower

Launching RISE a charity wellness event in aid of GROW. GROW Ireland is a mental health charity in Ireland who are also celebrating their 50th anniversary! This event has inspiring speakers, nutritionist, body positive advocate, mindfulness session and a light fitness workout to maintain a healthy body. The event is designed to inspire and teach us ways to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit in the areas of mindset, mindfulness, nutrition and fitness. Everyone is welcome on what will be an amazing, positive, informative and transforming half day. This event will gives you the opportunity to meet with like-minded people and learn ways to maintain a healthy mind and body whilst supporting an amazing charity at the same time!

Where: Ashling Hotel, Dublin
When: 22 June 
Time: 2pm - 6pm 
Tickets are €35 (all money raised goes to GROW) and can be purchased on Eventbrite Tickets

⭐️ Ursula Cullen – Mindset Coach and founder of Suits Coaching

⭐️ Nathalie Lennon, Personal Trainer and Online Coach passionate about spreading an authentic message

⭐️ Wini Moore – Nutritionist and founder of Wini Nutritional Therapy

⭐️ Anne Marie Curran – Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Facilitation and founder of Lima Wellbeing

⭐️ Gerry Farrell – GROW member Gerry gives a talk about overcoming adversity and shows how it is possible to make a full recovery from a mental illness. Gerry demonstrates that it is both admiral and a sign of strength for men and people in general to discuss their mental health.


Noirin, a group organiser from Limerick and active member of the HSE Service User Engagement Forum, shares her views on Mental Health Stigma, a topic which is relevant in the run up to the May Green Ribbon campaign...

Stigma is described as a disgrace as if you have something to be ashamed of. It sets us apart from others. I have been stigmatised for half of my life, feeling inferior to others, treated like a second class citizen, just because I have spent time in a psychiatric hospital. While I was in and out down through the years I received only two get well cards and very few visitors. Why should your physical health be any different from your mental health. Our brain is part of our body and needs to heal the same way and not be alienated. I was branded bi-polar for life and this follows me around like a shadow. Certain people avoid me. I don't think I'm any different to anyone else. I do everything possible to stay well. I recognise the triggers. I have a great support mechanism around me that I'm most grateful for. Mental health is still a taboo subject. Read full article online...

Bridging the Gap to Mental Health Recovery

GROW in the Mid West once again participated in the week-long Lifelong Learning Festival in Limerick by linking up with other mental health organisations in the region to put on an event in Limerick City Hall on Thurs 11th April.  The purpose of the event was to help educate the public about the range of educational and recovery oriented services available to those seeking support with their mental health.

The main organiser was Claire Flynn, from Limerick Mental Health Association (& Le Cheile) and other organisations present included MyMind, Samaritans, Aware, Paul Partnership, Jigsaw, Limerick Youth Service, Limerick Sports Partnership along with the Mid West ARIES team, representatives from the National Office of Suicide Prevention and members of the Limerick Mental Health Engagement forum (which included a number of GROW members).

Many thanks to volunteer Mary Collins, regional chairman Tommy Kennedy and Area Coordinator, Jacki Hehir, who minded the GROW information stand during the day spreading the GROW message.

Connection with Community

Collaboration between organisations can provide important benefits to organisations and their members. 

Working with other organisations, either though informal networks or more formal partnerships can provide:

  • access to additional resources 
  • improved service coordination across agencies, with better pathways or referral systems for service users
  • a holistic approach to meeting client needs, with better and more efficient access to the range of services required, improved quality and consistency of service and greater responsiveness to needs
  • greater innovation and flexibility to respond to changing, emerging or more complex client needs and changing operations and operational environments
  • access to up-to-date information,

Over time, the combined benefits of collaboration create new opportunities for partnering with others to build strong, safe, healthy and vital communities and a sustainable future together.

On May 15th   GROW and NLN Link Arklow will host a workshop from 10.30 am -1pm at NLN, Briggs Lane, Arklow, co. Wicklow. IGROW Area co-Ordinator Izabela Morris will deliver a presentation on Anxiety and Stress.  during the workshop Izabela will and teach participants how mindfulness can be used while dealing with emotional upsets.

Daphne Smith, psychologist will presentation on stress and will teach participants some other methods.

The workshop is open to all Growers and those living with a mental health issue in the area. 

For further details please contact Izabela @ 

Galway Community Eduactional Program 

"Picturing Resilience"   Wednesday 24th April - Galway City Library

Picturing Resilience introduces the basics of art therapy and how it brings about change. It will include a talk given by Ursula Murry (Art Therapist) followed by some hands on experience for participants and group discussion around the theme of resilience. 

For more information please contact Alan on 086 -417 7726.

Ursula has worked as an art therapist for 7 years in community and hospital settings as well as running her own private practice. She has over 25 years of experience in creative work with organisations in Ireland, India and the UK. She holds an MA in art therapy and has additional training in arts facilitation, group facilitation, working safely with trauma, parent/ child therapy and peer support.

In her work Ursula provides the space and support for people to find their own ways of moving beyond feelings and behaviours that are difficult towards living the life they want.

Ursula is a founding member of Red Door Studio based in Galway, which provides opportunities for positive change through creativity. She is also a practicing artist working in the mediums of paint, print and sculpture. More information can be found at or Ursula can be contacted on 087 6216852 or

Part 2  of GROW Community Education Program, is a SafeTALK Suicide Alertness session for Friday 3rd of May in Galway.  This will take place  Croí na Gaillimhe and will only inlcude small community groups.  The event is strictly by booking only.  Tickets are available on  The event will cater for a maximum of 30 people.  For futher information please contact Alan on  086- 417  7726

Also present at the event will be  members of GROW, Cosáin, Amach, Aware, SHINE, Galway City Mental Health Forum and Galway Traveller Movement.

Tullamore Credit Union

GROW  Midlands would like to express their thanks to Tullamore Credit Union  for their donation of €300 which was presentated at the Community Support Fund Presentation Evening in the Tullamore Court Hotel on Wednesday 3rd April.  

Pictured at the presentation (from left to right)
Fra Mollen, Chairman of Tullamore Credit Union, Michelle McCormick Area Co-ordinator Midland Region and  Nicola Keating from Tullamore Credit Union 



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