Happy New Year to all our readers and wishing you all the best in life, love and happiness for 2016.
Donate Now »
Friend on Facebook Find us on Facebook
Follow on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Forward to Friend Forward to a Friend

January 2016 GROW in Ireland Newsletter

Self Deception and Step 1

This piece on Step 1 of GROW’s 12 Step Program, “we admitted we had lost our way and needed direction”, was kindly provided by the Kilkenny Writer’s Group.

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Tara Athletic Club members brave Storm Catriona to raise funds for GROW.

At a GROW meeting years ago we were discussing how false fears can stop us doing what is good and ordinary. A member who had been attending meditation and philosophy classes spoke up and said, ‘I heard recently at a course that the mind can tell us lies. This means we need to learn how to reason objectively, so we won’t be fooled by our fears and fantasies telling us the sort of lies we want to believe. The idea that the mind can tell us lies really floored me – I never learned that in school!’

GROW challenges us to change our thinking, talk, actions and relationships. This means accepting that we have grown into the habit of telling ourselves lies: ‘I just can’t get out of bed’, ‘Nobody likes me’, ‘I have no skills or talents’. The truth is often more subtle – ‘I struggle to find a reason to get out of bed’, ‘since I don’t like myself, I assume no one else likes me either’, ‘my perfectionism is so out of control I’m afraid to risk developing my skills’.
Recovery involves the painful realisation that what primarily holds us back isn’t the negativity of others (beyond our control), poor schooling, childhood etc (a past we cannot change) – it is the constant lies we tell ourselves, all those ‘I can’t’, ‘I’m not able’, ‘it’s too much’, ‘I’m no good at that’. The list of negative messages we feed ourselves is endless.

[Read full article...]

2015 - Leading the Way

The lull between Christmas and New Year is a great time to reflect on the successes and achievements of the past year and to look forward hopefully to the coming year.  2015 was definitely a year in which Leadership was fostered within the GROW organisation: Approximately 80 GROWers from across the country participated in GROW’s Leadership Course (Part 1) and 114 Group Organisers and Recorders took part in regional training days.  These initiatives, set to continue in the coming years, will hopefully provide a constant flow of volunteers to take on Leadership Roles within the organisation (i.e. Organisers, Recorders and members of Regional or National teams). They will also help to strengthen groups thus releasing Area Co-ordinators to spend more time promoting GROW and setting up new groups The Area Co-ordinator group “visit rate” reduced from 61% in 2014 to 57% today and we hope to reduce this further during 2016.

Presentation of Leadership Certificates to Members of the Gorey area groups.

It is also a time to thank all the “Leaders” within GROW for another year of service: All the staff and management, members of regional and national teams and most importantly, our organisers and recorders who facilitate GROW meetings, week in, week out.  GROW is very thankful to the financial support received from the HSE and from the public at various fund raising events.  For without these individuals and funds GROW would not have been able to deliver approximately 4,400 x 2 hour meetings serving 27,500 attendees during the year (48% male and 55% over 50 years of age).

[Read full article...]

First Fortnight

The aim of the annual First Fortnight Festival is to challenge mental health prejudice through creative arts. The festival takes place during the first few weeks of each year and features numerous events nationwide.

As 2016 is an election year, one of the key events of interest is the Mental Health Reform hosted candidates' "IF ELECTED" debate in Dublin on Wednesday 13th January, 6.30-8.30 pm in Wood Quay Venue. This is chaired by broadcaster and historian John Bowman. Entry is free but capacity is limited, so you can book a place by emailing

Speaking of elections, why not make it your business and join the #StateOfMind Mental Health Reform campaign to ensure that mental health is a priority issue for the next Irish government.

News from the North West Region

The Autumn Training Day took place on Saturday 14th November with 23 members in attendance.  The theme of the day was “Carrying the GROW Message”.  The guest speaker at the training was Kathy O’Connor a Gesalt Practitioner.

The new Bundoran group opened on Tuesday 1st December in the Bundoran Pastoral Centre, Co. Donegal. One of GROW's new 8 Week Introductory Programmes will start in Lifford in the Clonleigh Resource Centre on Monday 11th January 2016 at 7.30pm. We hope to get a strong commitment from those who attended our recent Community Education Programme (CEP) in the area. Also we hope to be attractive for those along the Border in Northern Ireland.

The North West Region has kindly agreed to Support GROW in Northern Ireland by running a CEP in Strabane in early January.  Northern Ireland currently only have one group up and running and this a huge boost to their efforts.  The opening of a new group in Lifford is timed to coincide with the CEP and hopefully will cater for those in the Strabane area who may wish to join.

The annual Christmas Party took place in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town on Friday 4th December with 40 people in attendance.  The function included a meal, followed by music, song and dance.  Three GROW Members who completed the Leadership Module 1 course were presented with a Certificate.

Three CEPs took place in October/November 2015.
  • 16 November to 7th December – The Hive, Carrick-on-Shannon , Co. Leitrim with an average attendance of 21 people.
  • November 2015 NTDI, Sligo, with an average of 10 people per night.
  • 12th November to 3rd December, Lifford Resource Centre, with an average of 25 people per night.

December in Limerick

A number of GROW members from the Mid West Region were presented with certificates on completion of the Leadership Course (Part 1) and they celebrated their success with volunteers from the Regional Team at a meal in the Marco Polo restaurant in Limerick on 4th December. On Sunday 13th December in the lead up to Christmas, GROW supported other mental health organisations at an information stand in the Milk Market.

We are very thankful to the management of the Crescent Shopping Centre for allowing us to perform a Carol Singing Event there on Monday 21st December. There was a great turnout of GROW members, staff and friends to support the core Mid West members who had been practising weekly in the run up to Christmas. Many thanks especially to Sharon for co-ordinating this and for Noel for providing the music.

News from the North East Region

Support for the North East Region Groups has been greatly enhanced by the recent addition of Louise Carroll, Area Co-Ordinator.  Louise is now working on supporting and developing a substantial part of the North East Region.

The New GROW 8 week Introductory Programme took place in the Drogheda Community Centre, Co. Louth with an average attendance of 5 - 7 members per week.   Certificates were presented to the members who attended the full duration of the course on the final night Thursday 10th December 2015 at their Christmas gathering. The North East is planning to re-open the Dundalk Group in 2016 and an open day is being planned for early January 2016 with four people already committed.

The North East Region has recently being given additional Funding from the HSE for 2016 and has advertised for a new Area Co-Ordinator to support the Cavan / Monaghan area.  This should have a very positive impact on the area and we hope to have someone in situ by February.

The North East Region is extremely thankful for the input of the GROW and Regional Team Member who participated in the October interview on the Today with Sean O’Rourke Show (RTE 1).  She participated under the pseudonym of `Mary’ and the interview received huge coverage and had a very positive impact for GROW across the Country.  The manner in which the interview was given was a huge credit to both the GROWers and is much appreciated by all in the Region and throughout the country.

10 members from the Ashbourne group recently took the time out to attend a Christmas lunch in the local area.  This is a very strong group with numbers averaging 12-14 per Meeting.  Well done

The North East Regional Team is having a post-Christmas function on Friday 29th January in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan.  The function will be a meal, guest speaker, followed by music, song and dance.

"Minding our Minds" in Kerry

The "Be Aware! Prevent Suicide" Mental Wellness Exhibition, which highlighted the GROW principles of hope and recovery, was held at the Brandon Hotel, Tralee on the 29th November last . Speakers including Jim Breen (Cycle against Suicide) and Joe O’Connor (lecturer at IT, Tralee and RTE's Ireland's Fittest Family) took to the stage and shared their positive journeys and helpful advice with the large audience. In all over 40 exhibitors were represented including GROW and the public interacted very well with the offerings. Minding our Minds a free guide to services available in Kerry to people suffering from emotional challenges or mental health problems was also launched at the event. 55,000 homes throughout Kerry will receive a copy of the Guide, as well as schools, doctors’ surgeries and organisations. The event also served to foster and cement relationships with other service providers in the mental health space.

Communications Officer Job Available!

GROW in Ireland wish to appoint a Communications Officer, with the ability, drive and vision to relay the broad and varied flow of information about GROW services to a wide range of stakeholders including staff, GROW members, media and the public. This is a 2 years fixed term position for 25 hours per week.

The successful candidate will combine strong interpersonal and communication skills with proven experience of building and managing relationships with internal and external stakeholders. They will require excellent organisational & IT skills with experience creating content for websites and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube).

Please see full details on our website. Closing date : 5 p.m. Fri. 22nd January 2016.


Cycle Against Suicide 2016

Cycle Against Suicide 2016 is now open for registration for those interested in cycling all or part of the route or providing homestays between Sunday 24th April and Saturday 7th May 2016.  Check full details on their website.

The 4th Annual Student Leaders' Congress takes place in the RDS, Dublin, on Thursday 14th January.The  aim of the event is to promote positive mental health, help-seeking behaviour in young people, and the Cycle Against Suicide message that ‘It’s ok not to feel ok, and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help’.  The Congress brings together young adults and teachers from all over the island of Ireland in an inspiring and energetic forum comprising celebrity speakers, live entertainment, discussion and much more.

The theme of this year’s Congress is ‘Together We Can’.

The next SpinOff event is in Westport on Saturday 20th February.

Food for thought?

Here are a few links we came across in the past month which may be of interest to some of our readers: -
  • Have a listen to Simon Tierney's #MentalWealth podcast series on Newstalk 106-108 FM. This final episode looks at Social Anxiety.
  • Late-night cafe can keep people with mental health problems out of A&E - a very interesting piece from the Guardian in UK.
  • A Limerick barber has joined the Lions Barber Collective suicide prevention initiative which has taken Holland, UK and Ireland by storm. In Ireland the initiative has joined forces with Pieta House and the concept is that barbers are ideally placed to “Recognise, Listen, Talk and Advise” their customers.
  • A Liberal Arts student from Limerick's Mary Immaculate College, Jason Reddan from Kileely, Limerick, recently won an award for his excellent short film 'Who Cares' - an initiative of St. Patrick's Mental Health Services.
  • First Aid for Mental Health? The Mental Health First Aid initiative, like GROW, started in Australia, and in 2014 it was adapted for use in Ireland by St John of God Hospital.

New Year, New You, New Shirt?

For those contemplating what new habits to cultivate during 2016, if you are able, why not take up running? We have new running tops for 2016 and with the explosion in popularity of the 5k Park Runs there is every opportunity to get active and sign up for an event in your area and raise funds for a good cause, like GROW!
Copyright © 2016 GROW in Ireland, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences | © Copyright GROW in Ireland 2015 Charity No. 20023294