GROW's Step 4: We acknowledged our gifts and our strengths.
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April 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

We Acknowledged our Gifts and our Strengths

This piece on Step 4 of GROW’s 12 Step Program, “we acknowledged our gifts and our strengths”, was kindly provided by Stan.

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and other artists made popular the song ‘There Will Never Be Another You’. The title of the lyric expresses a truly wonderful fact.

It’s a fact not a mawkish sentimental feeling. It’s true. There will never be another you. You are an original, unique, once off, never to be repeated. Even each blade of grass is different. No one in all the billions that lived before us, live now, or will live in the future – not any single one of them is just like you. We are all of the same species! But no two of us is exactly the same – not even identical twins.

Image courtesy of Vlado at

That is the first gift and strength to be cherished and acknowledged. Personal Value, the first basic bedrock principle enshrined in the GROW Program has its source right here. Out of the crucible of personal suffering – bad self-image, feelings of worthlessness, failure and fatigue etc – the sick and broken founding members of GROW came to this non-negotiable conviction. The priceless value of each one of us is the first essential step on the road to recovery from any form of mental illness.

I may be a mere speck in this vast world – a tiny single thread in the enormous tapestry of the universe – a faint brush stroke in all of creation – but I matter. I am that important! Why me! I am who I am. I am what I am. Why am I here at all on this planet Earth? Have I any sense of personal vocation?
[Read full article...]

My Journey and Experience with Paranoid Schizophrenia

This article was sent into us by its author, Brian Scallan, who wanted to share his story with as many people as possible in the hope of helping to reduce the stigma associated with serious mental health problems, such as schizoprenia & psychosis.  Brian hopes that others who may be suffering in silence might be thus encouraged to reach out and seek help.

Although not a member of GROW, some aspects of Brian's story may resonate with GROWers - early trauma & bullying leading to symptoms & psychosis and ultimately to hospital admission where Brian's recovery journey was to start.

We'd like to thank Brian for sharing his story with us and we wish him continued success on his recovery journey. You can read Brian's full story on our website.  

HSE Listening Meetings Report Published

Back in 2014, Paddy McGowan, interim Head of Service User, Family Member and Carer Engagement on the HSE National Mental Health Management Team, and his team toured the country and engaged in listening meetings with service users and their families - 29 meetings took place with 1,100 attendees in total. Many GROWers gave input at these meetings.

The views and opinions gathered at those meetings have been developed into 10 key themes: -
  • Theme 1: Developing Respectful and Empathetic Relationships.
  • Theme 2: Service User, Family and Carer Involvement
  • Theme 3: Challenging Societal Attitudes.
  • Theme 4: Providing Continuity of Care and Supporting People in their Recovery.
  • Theme 5: Providing Specialist Services.
  • Theme 6: Accessing Helpful Information.
  • Theme 7: Peer Support.
  • Theme 8: Providing the Full Range of Interventions.
  • Theme 9: Accessing to Out of Hours Care.
  • Theme 10: Avenues for Assessment and Admission.
We are delighted that the final report on these has recently been published and will shortly be available on

News from the Eastern and Midland Regions

Glendalough Weekend
The Eastern and Midland Regions join for a regional weekend in the Glendalough Hotel from 6th – 8th May.  This will be an interesting and enjoyable weekend for all attending.

Mountmellick Course
GROW in Ireland, Midland Region, will hold a Community Education Programme entitled “Understanding and Minding Your Mental Health” for four Mondays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm starting on Monday 4th April.  The venue is Mountmellick Development Association, Irishtown, Mountmellick, Co Laois.  All Welcome.  Contact John 086 8033126.

New Dublin Group
A new group starts on Tuesday 12th April at 6.30pm in School Street Family Resource Centre, School Street, Pimlico, Dublin 8.  Contact Leo 086 8033124.

News from the Midwest Region

Regional Weekend
Approximately 50 GROWers from the region will be converging on The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, for the regional weekend which takes place from 23rd - 24th April. There is a lively agenda including a couple of stories of recovery; a deeper look at the 12 steps and a mindfulness workshop.

The FundaMental #Limerickathon
GROW is once again joining forces with other mental health organisations in the region to host an event as part of Limerick's Lifelong Learning Festival (16-22 April).  This takes place on Sunday 17th April in the Limerick Milk Market. In addition to regular mental health information stands, music, face painting etc. there is also a Limerickathon – a collaborative “Limerick” writing activity.  The aim is for the groups to engage the public in composing mental health related Limericks (5 line poems).  It is hoped that children in attendance will provide some art work to decorate the poems and the plan is then to post the completed pieces on social media using the hashtag #Limerickathon.  It should be a fun, free and mentally stimulating day out for all the family!
[See website for full details...]

Great Limerick Run 2016
There are a number of people again running for GROW in this year’s Great Limerick Run. You can sponsor all the GROW runners on iDonate.  If you’d like to get involved, there is still time to register on the Great Limerick Run site for the 6mile, Relay (team of 4) or Half/Full Marathon events.  Once registered, then just contact us for a T-shirt and sponsorship card. The GROW Office on 33 Henry Street will remain open from 12 noon till 4pm to facilitate runners, friends, families and GROWers and we will also have Green Ribbons available.

News from the Southern Region

Mary Brennan (Southern Regional Chairperson) recently accepted a Community Award, on behalf of GROW, from the Lord Mayor of Cork.  It was presented in acknowledgement of the work done by GROW in Cork City.

Gareth O'Callaghan, who spoke at a GROW National Weekend in the Clare Inn some years ago, will be in the Church Of The Incarnation in Grange / Frankfield Cork City on Fri April 22nd.  This talk, commencing at 8pm is about depression and spirituality.  More details on Gareth's Facebook page.


News from the Southeast Region

St Patrick's Day Parades
GROWers from the Southeast once again participated in Mental Health floats in St. Patrick's Day Parades in Dungarvan and Clonmel.

Wexford Stress Control Course
‘Stress Control’ is a six session evening class for adults. Each session lasts for 90 minutes. ‘Stress Control’ was devised by Jim White, a clinical psychologist in Glasgow, to help the large number of people who complained of stress and who were keen to learn how to tackle their problems themselves.

Venue: St Michael’s Hall, Thomas Street, Wexford.
Cost: €10 charge on the first evening to cover venue costs.
Date: 6 Week Course, Tuesdays, 7-8.30 pm, Startng Tues 5th Apr.
Contact: 053 9123262

The six sessions of the Course: -
  • Session 1: Learning about stress
  • Session 2: Controlling your body
  • Session 3: Controlling your thoughts - Cognitive therapy
  • Session 4: Controlling your actions - Behaviour therapy
  • Session 5: Controlling panic
  • Session 6: Controlling sleeping problems and controlling the future

Green Ribbon Month - May 2016

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.

The Lime Green Ribbon has been established in the US and beyond as the international symbol for 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.

[Bookmark GROW's Green Ribbon 2016 page...]

Cycle Against Suicide 2016

The 4th Cycle Against Suicide kicks off in Dublin on Sun 24th April and arrives back in Dublin on Sat 7th May. There are many ways to get involved - by signing up to do all or part of the cycle; by signing up to provide "Homestay" accommodation to cyclists as they pass through your town or by going out to cheer on the cyclists or attend or volunteer to help out at one of the many events along the route.

In the past few years GROW was involved in a number of the mental health awareness events along the route and we would hope to do the same this year, so we are encouraging GROWers to contact their local GROW office to see how they can get involved and help to "spread the GROW message to others in need".

Upcoming Events of Interest

Links You May Like

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