The September edition of the GROW newsletter focuses on Step 9 of the GROW Program. It also includes details of DoneDeal's cheque presentation to GROW, GROW's nomination as the Evening Echo's Charity of the Week, World Suicide Prevention Day and other upcoming events.
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September 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

We Developed our Will Power to do the Right Thing in Spite of our Feelings

The following piece on Step 9 of the GROW Program has been kindly submitted by a South East GROWer.

Will Power has two faces – one public and one private. Nobody needs to know if you stay in bed until two in the afternoon but you can pat yourself on the back if you get up at one. If you agree to meet friends for coffee and turn up, you are entitled to another brownie point. 

With GROW, it is possible to nudge both aspects forward. GROW members are non-judgemental and compassionate. You can report on your progress or failing, knowing you’ll be reassured or encouraged regardless of how you got on. 

This further piece on Step 9 of the GROW Program has been submitted as a Mid West Leader's paper.
Will power is a resource we possess which controls ourselves and our actions. We alone choose to work on and be guided by our will power. By doing this, we see the options in front of us and decide to make that choice, an informed and liberating choice which overrules any initial notions we had which were led by irrational feelings. ‘Feelings are real but they may not correspond to the facts’. 

[To read more of these pieces, see the GROW website]

GROW Receives €12,259 'Charity Month' Donation from DoneDeal

GROW was among three charities to each receive €12,259 from DoneDeal as part of its 'Charity Month' scheme.

Jason Cooke from DoneDeal (pictured above) kindly nominated GROW as his chosen charity, with GROW CEO Michele Kerrigan and Communications Officer Aisling Donnelly attending a cheque presentation ceremony in DoneDeal's offices in Wexford town on August 29th

Speaking at the cheque presentation, GROW CEO Michele Kerrigan acknowledged the generosity of the DoneDeal team, who make a vast difference to three charities every two months.

"Their kindness will help GROW to continue its important work in promoting positive mental health in communities across Ireland each week, and help us to make a very real difference in the lives of people who are struggling with their mental health," she said.

[To read more visit DoneDeal's blog and the GROW website

GROW named Evening Echo Women's Mini Marathon 'Charity of the Week'

GROW was nominated as the Cork Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon ‘Charity of the Week on August 30th. 

GROW is delighted to have been featured as the Charity of the Month on the Evening Echo Mini Marathon website and also on the Mini Marathon Facebook page.

Don’t forget that GROW is seeking participants for the upcoming Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon which takes place in Cork on September 25th.

Please promote positive mental health and spread the GROW message by taking part in the Mini Marathon and showing that every step counts. And remember that you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic or expert runner to sign up for the event.

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]

GROW National Weekend and AGM

It only feels like a couple of months since GROW's last National Weekend. Once again, we are holding our National weekend and AGM in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone from September 30th until October 2nd

Bookings have been coming in steadily over the last number of weeks. At the last count, the hotel was fully booked. There are a number of people on a waiting list in the event of cancellations. 

The theme for this year is: “Growth is Painful, but Permanently Rewarding”

Dr. Fergus Heffernan is our guest speaker, who no doubt will capture the spirit of our weekend. We have a number of workshops including a salsa class so bring your dancing shoes. And of course, the weekend would not be complete without our boat trip. There will be plenty of relaxation time for those who wish to avail of the swimming pool and gym.

Fr. Stan will once again be joining us to celebrate Mass on Sunday morning.

Wishing everyone a safe journey to the Radisson Blu, Athlone.

Michele Kerrigan, CEO


End of an Era as Capel Street Office Closes

It was the end of an era in the East Region as the Capel Street office closed its doors for the last time on Thursday, September 1st. 

The office was a hub for GROW in the East region and had served as a centre of GROW activities in the Dublin city area since the early 1990s, ranging from weekly GROW meetings, Regional Administration, O&Rs, National Executive meetings, staff meetings, Leadership training and a plethora of other GROW related activities. 

The Eastern Regional Team, Management and staff would like to thank everyone who passed through the doors of Capel Street, over the course of the past 25-plus years, for their valued contribution in helping make GROW the success it is today in the greater Dublin area. 

The current Thursday evening GROW meeting will now move to the Psychological Society of Ireland premises in Grantham House, Grantham Street, Dublin 2

[For details about the meeting location, see the GROW website]


GROW at the Virginia Agricultural Show, Co. Cavan

Over 10,000 people attended the Virginia Agricultural Show in Co. Cavan on August 24th, with GROW among the organisations represented at this hugely successful annual event.

GROW were delighted to have a presence at the popular show and wish to sincerely thank Virginia Agricultural Show Committee for kindly giving GROW a free stand at the event.

The GROW stand representatives on the day were Kathryn Corrigan, Declan Cooney, Mary French and John O'Reilly.

The Virginia Agricultural Show celebrated its 75th anniversary this year and was officially opened by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan. Visitors to the show were able to see some of Ireland’s best livestock, with over 300 trade stands and €40,000 in prizes up for grabs.  

GROW Information Evening in Kenmare, Co. Kerry

Are you interested in learning more about positive mental health, recovery and how GROW can help you?

GROW information evening will be held at 7.30pm this Thursday, September 8th in the Brook Lane Hotel in Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

The information evening is open to all, free to attend and is being held with a view to establishing a GROW community support group in Kenmare.

For more details about the information evening or the new Kenmare GROW group, please contact Area Coordinator Jerry Cronin on 086-0271990 or email

GROW Coffee Morning in Co. Donegal for World Suicide Prevention Day 

The people of Letterkenny are being urged to ‘connect, communicate and care’ by coming along to a coffee morning being held in Letterkenny to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

The coffee morning is being organised by GROW and will take place in Mac’s Deli on the Highroad in Letterkenny from 10-11.30am on World Suicide Prevention Day –Saturday, September 10th.

All are being urged to come along and join with others around the world, and across Ireland, in spreading the important message of World Suicide Prevention Day 2016 – ‘connect, communicate, care’.

Maria Whelan, GROW’s Area Coordinator, highlights the importance of marking World Suicide Prevention Day.

“The reason we want to mark this important day is to firstly remember those lost through suicide and to also unite together to support those suffering from mental illness by highlighting that there is hope and support out there,” Maria emphasises.

For more on the coffee morning or GROW groups in the North West, contact Maria at

[Details of the coffee morning can also be found on the GROW website]

Strategic Plan 2017-2019 

At the end of this year, GROW will be preparing its strategy for 2017-2019

Some regions have already completed an analysis of their region and have identified areas which are of importance in relation to the development of our next strategic plan. Over the course of the coming weeks, the remaining regions will complete their analysis. This analysis and information will form the basis of our next strategy along with input from Program Team, Board and Management.
GROW has the potential to play a critical role in the advancement of the Recovery Model in Ireland. It is, therefore, important that GROW continues to demonstrate competency, organisational capacity and financial sustainability. 

The next phase for the organisation will be one of development and expansion. The core work of the organisation will always be the GROW Program and Groups. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the standard of our groups to ensure the delivery of an effective Program. Measuring recovery will be a major focus of our next strategy. 

The ability to measure outcomes and the impact of the GROW Program on those who are struggling with their mental wellbeing will be important for both GROW members and potential funders into the future.

Since launching our previous strategy in 2014, we’ve seen some significant changes in mental health. Public attitudes are improving, support is growing and mental health is high on the political agenda. Challenges, however, still remain. One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. 

It is, therefore, important that GROW provides a service which is accessible to those in most need, especially in more rural settings. Bringing mental health support to a wider community will be a focus in our next strategy: ethnic groups, farming communities, collaborative work with other organisations such as homeless services.

The provision of health promotion and educational programmes will continue along with the development of programmes specifically aimed at identified communities. We will continue to expand on the development of groups within the prison services.  

Our strategy will culminate in celebrating 50 years of GROW in Ireland.This will be an opportunity to reflect on the commitment and work of our forefathers who worked tirelessly to ensure GROW’s Recovery Program would be available to all who are in need of support. The work of Con Keogh will be celebrated and the legacy he has left behind.

Michele Kerrigan, CEO

Governance Code

Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland

All Community, Voluntary and Charitable (CVC) Organisations have a responsibility to provide and follow a code of good practice when it comes to how their organisations are run. It is the responsibility of the Board to make sure this happens.

Governance refers to how an organisation is run, directed and controlled. Good governance means an organisation will design and put in place policies and procedures that will make sure the organisation runs effectively.
The Board of GROW have adopted the Governance Code and are very pleased to inform members and stakeholders that we have completed our journey and are fully compliant. Over the coming weeks, the last pieces of information which are required to be posted on our website will be uploaded.

Michele Kerrigan, CEO

GROW in Dungarvan Bids Fond Farewell to Dear Friend, late Mary Keohane

It is with great sadness that GROW in Dungarvan announces the passing of our great friend Mary Keohane.

Mary was well-known and liked by the many people she met during her daily walks with her beloved dog and she also liked to attend Mass with a good friend. In 1984, Mary became a GROW member.

She was always available to help with fundraising events when needed and on entering the GROW house, Mary greeted everyone with a huge smile and a warm welcome.

In the last 12 months, Mary wasn’t always able to attend weekly GROW meetings but she was always there in spirit.

We, the Dungarvan Tuesday GROW group, are deeply saddened by Mary’s passing. We have lost a truly gentle, kind and loving lady and now as we sit here looking at Mary’s empty chair, we cherish the memories and the many words of wisdom.

For now we say goodbye dear friend and “Stay Ordinary”, which was Mary’s favourite piece from the ‘blue book’.

Eastern Region Workplace Programme 

The Eastern Region of GROW gave a presentation, titled Stress Management in the Workplace, to staff in Home Instead Senior Care, 7 Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3 on Wednesday, August 31st

This was the final of eight workplace presentations given in the last year by GROW in the Eastern Region.

GROW Community Education Programme in Co. Longford

GROW in Ireland, Midland Region, is presenting a five week programme on Understanding and Minding Your Mental Health.

The programme commences on Monday September 26th at 7.30pm in Edgeworthstown District Development Association Ltd. , Ballymahon Road, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford. The topics are as follows:
  • Week 1: September 26th – Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health
  • Week 2: October 3rd Mindfulness  – Guest Speaker Stella O’Malley, Counsellor
  • Week 3: October 10th – Managing Stress and Anxiety  – Guest Speaker Derry O’Malley, Human Givens Therapist
  • Week 4: October 17th – Suicide Awareness and Prevention
  • Week 5: October 24th – How GROW Works  – Guest Speaker/s John Farren/ Assumpta Lyons, GROW Area Coordinators 
For more details contact John 086 8033126 or email:

[Also see the GROW website]

GROW Mid West News

To commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday, September 10th, the Mid West Region are holding a short guided walk in Limerick City followed by tea, coffee and buns back in the GROW office at 33 Henry Street

The walk, which starts at 11am from the GROW office, is open to GROWers and their friends/families and also to anyone who wants to find out more about GROW. However, numbers are limited to 20 so those who want to take part should text their name to 086 0201485.

The GROW office will be open from 12-2pm for refreshments after the walk and that is open to all with no booking required. We hope to see you there.

There are a host of other events taking place in September as part of the Events Against Suicide initiative, culminating in the #LightUpOrange2016 campaign.
Niall Breslin (aka “Bressie”) is giving a free public talk in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick, on Thursday, September 29th at 7pm. A number of mental health organisations, including GROW, are planning to have information stands at this event. Early attendance is advisable as this is sure to be a hugely popular event.
GROW is currently working with Limerick Mental Health Association (Mental Health Ireland) and other mental health groups in the region to finalise plans for Limerick Mental Health Week 2016. Some confirmed highlights are: -
  • Sunday, October 9th: SMRC Urban Run 5k/10k – we are encouraging regional GROWers to register and participate.
  • Monday, October 10th: Fergus Heffernan talk in LIT’s Millenium Theatre and “Patrick’s Day” Film in the Belltable.
  • Tuesday, October 11th: “First Tuesday” drop in information session (7-8pm) and monthly GROW group (8pm) in GROW Office, 33 Henry Street
  • Daily talks in Hunt Museum and Samaritans' Centre.
  • Saturday, October 15th: Family Fun Day in Bedford Row.
The Limerick Women’s Mini Marathon is a 5k/10k walk/run which takes place around UL and Plassey on Sunday, October 30th.

We hope that as many GROWers, friends and family members as possible will take part in the event wearing a GROW top with a view to raise awareness about GROW. Those interested should contact the Limerick GROW Office as there may be discounts available for group registrations.
Mid West ARIES
Mid West ARIES is a new project managed by the Mid West Advancing Recovery in Ireland (ARI) Project Group and their vision is to provide the Mid West Region with an inspirational and inclusive educational programme on recovery and well-being. 

GROWers from the region who are interested in getting involved should contact their area coordinator; the GROW office on 061 318813 or Aoife Boland on 087 3599166 or

GROW Community Education Programme in Killygordon, Co. Donegal

A four week GROW Community Education Programme will get underway in Killygordon in Co. Donegal on September 20th.
The programme will take place on four consecutive Tuesday evenings at Newpark Sports Complex, Killygordon, commencing at 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 20th. All are most welcome to come along to this free programme, which will feature a different topic each week. People can attend all or any of the talks.
The topics are as follows:
  • Week 1: Tuesday, September 20th - A Practice in Mindfulness by Maria Whelan, GROW Area Coordinator
  • Week 2: Tuesday, September 27th - Stress Management by Marian Maguire, GROW Area Coordinator
  • Week 3: Tuesday, October 4th - Building Resilience by Marian Maguire, GROW Area Coordinator
  • Week 4: Tuesday, October 11th - The GROW Programme by Marian Maguire, GROW Area Coordinator
For further details contact: Marian on 086 7856912 or the GROW InfoLine on 1890 474474.

[See also the GROW website]

GROW Attends Family Fun Day in Co. Monaghan

GROW was among the organisations represented at a Fun Day held at the Child Wellbeing Centre in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan on August 26th

The event was run by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. The Child Wellbeing Centre provides intensive family support, an outdoor pursuits’ project for young people and improved services for children in care and aftercare.

The Centre also provides leadership for Children’s Rights across the region.

The photo features Kathryn Corrigan, GROW Area Coordinator and Gerry Lowry, Area Manager, Tusla, Cavan and Monaghan.

GROW Open Evening in Co. Meath

GROW Open Evening will take place this Thursday, September 8th in Ratoath, Co. Meath

The open evening will get underway at 7pm in ‘As You Like It Caffe’, The Venue Community Centre in Ratoath.

All are most welcome to come along to this free event and to learn more about GROW and the mutual support, encouragement and practical steps which GROW groups provide to people experiencing mental health difficulties.

For further details contact Mary on 086 0201718, email or phone the GROW Infoline on 1890 474 474.

[Details can also be found on the GROW website]

Tullamore Information Morning, Co. Offaly

A GROW Information Morning will take place at 11am on Wednesday, September 28th in the Library, O’Connor Square, Tullamore.

The GROW group will be held in the library from then onwards, taking place every Wednesday from 11am to 1pm.

Change of Relationships - A Piece by Anne Waters

There are two ways to change relationships. The first is to cut a relationship out of our life, the second is to change the way we relate, either to a single person or to people in general.

The second and often harder way to change a relationship is to change the way we behave in the relationship. We may change by listening more, by holding back criticism or perhaps by showing more appreciation and affection. What makes these changes hard is because when we change how we act, we also change ourselves.

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

'Health Zone' Event in Limerick in Aid of GROW

The Health Zone is hosting its first event in Limerick City on Monday, September 12th as a fundraiser for GROW.

The theme of the ‘Health Zoners’ evening is A New Era of Emotional Maturity and is being chaired by Dr. Terry Lynch to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2016. The event will take place from 7.30 to 9.30pm in The Stormy Teacup coffee shop in Foxes Bow, Limerick, with proceeds going towards GROW. 

According to Health Zone, the event will provide an opportunity to engage in the conversation about mental health. The event will feature Dr. Terry Lynch, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation teacher Nadine Buttery and the Health Zone.

Dr. Terry Lynch is a mental health activist, GP, psychotherapist and author of three books: Depression Delusion - The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance, Beyond Prozac, and Selfhood. Nadine is a Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation teacher in Limerick. 

The Health Zone is an online and offline platform which aims to "empower and educate people about all aspects of health and wellbeing".

Tickets cost €10. To book a ticket for the event, see the Health Zone Facebook page and the following link.

[Details are also available on the GROW website]

Midland News

Church Gate Collections
GROW Midlands will hold church gate collections in Abbeyleix/Ballyroan on September 10th and 11th and in Birr/Carrick on September 24th and 25th.

Collections have also been undertaken this year in Stradbally, Mullingar, Longford, Daingean and Portlaoise. In the months ahead, the Midland region will host collections in Edenderry, Tullamore, Mountrath and Rhode/Croghan. These collections are the main form of fundraising for the region.

Workplace Programme
GROW Midland Region hosted one of its final workplace presentations in the region on Tuesday, August 30th.  

The presentation was delivered to staff at Mountrath Community School, Dysartbeigh, Mountrath, Co Laois by John Farren and Assumpta Lyons, Area Coordinators and a large number of staff attended.
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