The August edition looks at Step 8 of the GROW Program: 'We Learned to Think by Reason Rather Than by Feelings and Imagination'. It also includes the Inaugural GROW Family Day in Dungarvan, a fitting memorial to GROW's founder, upcoming GROW events across Ireland and a Limerick GROWer's powerful story. 
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August 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

We Learned to Think by Reason Rather Than by Feelings and Imagination

The following piece on Step 8 of the GROW Program, We Learned to Think by Reason Rather Than by Feelings and Imagination, has been kindly submitted from Limerick.
If we live only by feelings, then we are seeking constant self-gratification and dwell in an irrational head-space.

We have to realise that all our actions have positive or negative outcomes and require logical consideration prior to execution. For this to happen, we have to ‘see things as they really are’ and not entertain ‘stinking thinking’ and to ‘manage our disturbed thinking’.  

When we think by reason, we look at the ‘whole picture’ and have ‘regard for others’. We seek not only to ‘feel good’ or ‘look good’ but to ‘be good’. We aspire to have ‘a true mind, a strong character, a loving heart’.

We come to this reality through learning that there is a better way of living and that ‘mental health cannot be taught but has to be learned together.

This further piece on Step 8 of the GROW Program has been submitted as a Cork Leaders' paper.
Step 8 is by far the most challenging of the twelve steps. However, it is also the step that can bring about the most change in our lives. It challenges us to question our thinking.  

Children and young adults are influenced by the messages, belief systems and attitudes of their families and peer groups.

[To read more of this piece, see the GROW website]


'Change of Thinking'

This piece has been penned by a South East GROWer and is aptly titled Change of Thinking.
Before joining GROW, I wasted a lot of energy thinking about the past and the future.

My inner critic would analyse what I had done in the past and find a hundred different faults. I did not act with enough confidence and skill, didn’t get on well with others, said something to cause offence, did not say what should have been said – basically any good, ordinary action I did would be torn to shreds. 

[To read more of this piece, see the GROW website]

Sun Smiles on Inaugural GROW Family Day in Dungarvan

Beautiful sunshine beamed down as GROW’s first ever Family Day was held in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Dungarvan on Sunday,  July 17th and what a splendid and super-successful day it was.

The entire event took fantastic organisation and meticulous planning by Dungarvan GROW members, with Mildred’s prayers somehow ensuring that sunshine reigned down throughout the entire day. 

The Family Day was held amidst the beautiful backdrop of St. Mary’s Church.

[For more on the first-ever Dungarvan Family Day, visit the GROW website and Facebook page

Memorable Dungarvan GROW Family Day for Mid West Visitors 

This rare bus day trip created an air of excitement and anticipation as many were availing of the opportunity to visit another GROW region - the South East.

Passing through the main towns of Tipperary, Cahir and Clonmel, we arrived at our destination at 11.30 am making good time and with weather to match. 

We received a tremendous welcome from all and sundry, namely Gertrude Howley, Mary Hennessy and all their helpers on the day.  

[For more on the Mid West visitors' journey to the GROW Family Day, visit the GROW website]


GROW Nominated for DoneDeal Charities of the Month 

GROW has been nominated as one of three charities to receive a donation as part of DoneDeal’s ‘Charity of the Month’ initiative. 

The other two nominated charities are Compassionate Friends and the Merchants Quay Project. Essentially, DoneDeal will donate 10% from every ad placed during July into a charity pot which will be equally divided between the three nominated charities, including GROW

The amount to be donated to the three recipients will be announced by DoneDeal over the coming weeks.  

GROW would sincerely like to thank DoneDeal’s Senior Designer, Jason Cooke, for kindly nominating GROW as a Charity of the Month recipient. 

Details can be found on DoneDeal’s blog:


Garda College Raises Money for GROW

Our sincere thanks to the Garda recruits and staff at the Garda Training College in Templemore for their splendid fundraising endeavours for GROW.

A cheque for over €3,300 was presented at the College to GROW representatives, Regional Managers Martin Cadden and James Qulligan and Area Coordinator Mary Purcell.

The money was raised through a table quiz held in the Garda College and by Garda recruits, who took part in the Great Limerick Run in support of GROW. 

GROW wishes to express its sincere and heartfelt thanks to Garda Superintendent Seamus Nolan and to organiser Glenn Horan from the Garda Training College. 

[Details can also be found on the GROW website and Facebook page]


'Bipolar is a curse. But you can come out of it a whole and beautiful person'

Limerick woman and GROW member, Noirín, featured recently in the Limerick Leader newspaper where she shared her powerful and honest account of overcoming 'the darkness and depression'. 

Noirín, who has been attending GROW group meetings as well as Shine services, was also interviewed on the Limerick Today with Joe Nash programme on Limerick's 95 FM

Talking about GROW, she said: “I joined GROW last September and it has been the making of me. I speak my mind at these meetings. It can sometimes be emotional, but our group is a loving, caring group who look after me. 

“I have made lots of new, genuine friends. I no longer beat myself up over things or feel that awful guilt. I find I can be emotional like everybody else, and also be happy, without fear of being judged,' she added.

Noirín concluded: “Bipolar, yes, it is a curse. But you can come out of it a whole and beautiful person.”

[To read the full article in the Limerick Leader, click here or visit the GROW website. You can listen to Noirín's interview on Limerick's 95 FM here


Two GROW Open Days in Ashbourne

Two open days will be held in Ashbourne, Co. Meath during the month of August to provide information about the GROW Program as well as a local GROW group which gets underway in September.

The first open day will take on August 4th and will be followed by a second open day on August 18th.
The open days will take place in the Parish Hall, located next to the church, on Ashbourne’s Main Street from 2-4p.m.  

The open days are free to attend and all are most welcome. Tea/coffee and refreshments will be served. Please come along, pick up some leaflets about GROW and gain information about the GROW program and the Ashbourne GROW group meeting.

The Ashbourne GROW community group will commence on September 15th and will take place thereafter on the first three Thursdays of each month from 2 to 4p.m. No meeting will be held on the last Thursday of each month. 

For more information call the GROW information line on 1890 474 474 or local Area Coordinator Louise on 086-7706067.

[Details can also be found on the GROW website]


Welcome to Izabella

GROW East region would like to extend our sincerest best wishes to Izabella Morris who begins her new role of Area Coordinator in Dublin South City/ Kildare/ West Wicklow area. 


Fitting Memorial to GROW Founder in Co. Wexford

A group of 26 GROW members, past and present, attended a remembrance evening for the organisation’s founder, Con Keogh, in Courtown, Co. Wexford on Friday, July 22nd.

This was the fourth year that the memorial event was held near Gorey.

It was a lovely evening where GROW Area Coordinator, Ellen Ryle, and all those in attendance took a few moments to remember Con, the many people who have struggled with depression, loneliness and those who have been affected by suicide. The occasion was marked by throwing yellow roses into the sea.

[For more on this event, see the GROW website and Facebook page]


Mid West News & Events

Thank you: GROW would like to thank the parishioners of Shannon & Newmarket (Co. Clare), Raheen (Limerick City) and Nenagh (Co. Tipperary) who generously contributed to church gate collections during July. A total of €2,475 was raised over the four collections. The next collection is taking place in Templemore (Co. Tipperary) on August 27th-28th.  A big thank you to all the volunteers who contributed their time.

Walk to Mark World Suicide Prevention DayPlans are underway to get involved in the Cycle Against Suicide events around World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place on Saturday, September 10th.
More to follow in September newsletter.  We hope to facilitate a small public walk in Limerick city followed by tea/coffee back in the GROW office at 33 Henry Street.

GROW at ReachOut Conference: Rob Stephen will be giving a presentation about the GROW email newsletter at ReachOut’s 2016 International Technology for Wellbeing Conference in Dublin on Wednesday, September 14th. All those with an interest in technology and mental health are encouraged to register and attend. 

Bressie Talk: Niall Breslin, aka Bressie, is visiting the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick on Thursday, September 29th and a large crowd is expected. GROW will have a stand at this event to highlight the services on offer in the Mid West.

Limerick Mental Health WeekAll the mental health organisations in Limerick, including GROW, are gearing up once again for Limerick Mental Health Week which this year takes place from Sunday, October 9th to Saturday, October 15th.

Information stands about the week will be in the main shopping centres on Wednesday October 5th. Some of the highlights for 2016 include the MRC Urban Run on Sunday, October 9th (5k/10k event) and we are encouraging all able-bodied GROWers to register for that event and to wear a GROW running top whilst so doing – check out the Irish TV programme on the 2014 run in which GROW features:    

Dr. Fergus HeffernanThe hugely popular Dr. Fergus Heffernan (who is also speaking at the GROW National Weekend in Athlone in September) will also be giving a talk in LIT’s Millenium Theatre on World Mental Health Day (Monday, October 10th) and on the same night, the acclaimed Patrick’s Day film is being shown in the Belltable. For further details, see

Choral NightThe annual Choral Night will take place in St. Mary’s Cathedral on the Friday night, October 14th and a family fun day is planned for a City Centre venue on Saturday, October 15th.  The full calendar will be available online at the end of August.


Ideas and Volunteers Sought for GROW Video

The deadline for video entries for the Better Together video competition, organised by The Wheel, is nearing and GROW is calling on volunteers to help us to create a video entry which shares GROW's story.

The video competition is about telling the impact which charities, such as GROW, make in the community. The theme is 'Better Together'. From September 12th, charities can enter two types of video stories in the Better Together Video Competition:
  1. Epic Tales (Youtube videos between 30 seconds and two minutes long) 
  2. Micro Stories (Instagram videos up to 30 seconds long).
If you have an interesting idea for a GROW video, are good with a camera or have editing skills, your input and wisdom would be most welcome. You can contact GROW's Communications Officer, Aisling Donnelly at 


Rain Couldn't Dampen Annual North West Outing

The GROW North West’s annual bus trip on July 2nd had a slightly ominous start... 

As we headed into the darkest reaches of County Sligo, it was as if the entire heavenly host was emptying down on our little bus.

With the windscreen wipers going at full tilt, we navigated the highways and byways of Yeat’s Country, picking up some of its cheery, if somewhat damp, inhabitants along the way... rain or no rain, it wasn’t going to dampen our spirits! 

Our first stop was at the Arigna Mining Experience. The small seams of coal, which are present in the hills of this area, were mined from the 1700’s, right up until the industry shut down in the 1990. 

After a light lunch in the Arigna cafe, we boarded the bus once more for a one hour trip to an outdoor attraction known as Eagles Flying.  

Thank you to Michael Cunningham for the write-up and and Michele Clements and Michael for the photographs.

[To read more about the North West outing and view more photos, visit the GROW website]


Four Week Community Education Program in Dunboyne

Organised by GROW in Dunboyne, County Meath, these four sessions aim to develop thinking around the subject of mental health in general, its relevance to our lives today and the importance of maintaining one’s own mental health and general sense of well-being. 

In association with the ‘See Change’ campaign, we aim to create an environment where people are more open and positive in their attitudes towards their mental health.           

The sessions will be held on four consecutive Tuesdays at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Maynooth Rd., Dunboyne, Co. Meath. 
  • Week 1:  Tuesday August 23rd 2016
The “WRAP” Programme: Wellness Recovery Action Plan
By Rose Marie Murphy, Assistant Director of Nursing, HSE Northeast
  • Week 2:  Tuesday August 30th 2016
“Mind Your Mental Health”
By Fionola Colgan, Mental Health Ireland
  • Week 3: Tuesday September 6th 2016
“Supporting Young People’s Mental Health”
By Jigsaw Meath
  • Week 4: Tuesday September 13th 2016
 “The GROW Program - A Roadmap to Mental Health
“To live is to change and to live fully is to have changed Often” (J.H. Newman)
 Speaker Mary French, GROW Northeast Co-Ordinator
All are welcome and the sessions are free of charge. For further details contact: Mary on 086-0201718
Each week covers a separate but related topic. You can attend all or any of the sessions. 

[Details can also be found on the GROW website]


Take Part in the Cork Women's Mini Marathon for GROW

GROW is seeking participants for the upcoming Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon which takes place in Cork on September 25th. 

Let’s promote positive mental health and spread the GROW message by taking part in the Mini Marathon and showing that every step counts.

You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic or expert runner to take part. The Mini Marathon is a fun-oriented and inclusive event, which also features joggers and walkers. 

Coverage of GROW and an appeal for marathon participants in support of GROW were featured in Cork’s Evening Echo on July 27th – see the GROW website and Facebook page.

If you know anyone interested in taking part in the Mini Marathon or a company, work/community group or gathering of enthusiastic individuals who would like to support GROW, please contact Susan or Brenda at GROW’s Southern office at 34 Grand Parade, Cork on 021-4277520 or email:

[Details can also be found on the GROW website and Facebook page]


GROW Information Morning in Tullamore

A GROW Information morning will take place next month in Tullamore in Co. Offaly with a view to starting up a new group in the town.

The information event will get underway at 11a.m. on Thursday, September 29th in the library in O’Connor Square in Tullamore. It is planned that a GROW group will be held in the library from that date onwards every, taking place every Thursday from 11a.m. to 1p.m. 


GROW Greeting Card

A reminder to you all that a GROW card, containing four different messages, is now available from your local GROW office.

The GROW card messages include ‘thank you’, ‘thinking of you’, ‘your support is greatly appreciated’ and ‘your presence makes a difference’.

The card features a beautiful cover painting by artist, Eveleen Power, reminding people that the ‘GROW door is always open’.
The idea for the greeting cards came from a GROWer in the South East.


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