What is Grow

What is Grow?

The Grow Mission
To enable people with a mental health condition or illness to take their responsible and caring place in the wider community.

At its heart, Grow gives people with mental illness or who are struggling with life, the tools and support to claim back their lives and fully participate in society.

Anyone can come to Grow – all they need is the desire to live a life full of meaning, hope and optimism and the courage to learn to grow beyond their own thinking and behaviour patterns. There is no need for a diagnosis or referral, no eligibility criteria, no session/time limits and no cost.

A key feature of the Grow Program is that it encourages the development of support and friendship outside of Group meetings so that participants can develop and practice social skills in situations where they are treated as equals. The 12-step Program itself is full of profound wisdom which challenges and supports people to help them overcome their issues.

Grow runs approximately 180 support groups throughout every state of Australia, with some specific-purpose groups including prison groups and carers groups.

We also offer:

  • The ‘Get Growing’ program for young people, established over the past decade.  This program is run in schools with groups of 10 at-risk students over 10 weeks, to help them develop resilience and confidence and to help prevent self-harm.
  • A ‘Residential Care’ program in Sydney, where 17 beds are available for people in need to undergo intensive and long-term recovery work.
Testimony - Keith
“Learning leadership has allowed me to build healthy relationships and make many friends along the way as I spent the best part of my life isolating myself. I have found building friendships to be the greatest form of leadership as a way to encourage and influence others.                                                                        When we develop and build trust with each other through caring and sharing and working with the Grow Program, we are then more willing to believe in ourselves and each other to go that extra mile. The Grow group has been a huge help and influence in my improvement. They have provided me with the support I have needed to get through the tough times, the guidance to solve the problems that I have faced and the friendship to give me a sense of belonging and purpose.” 

The Grow Program really works

Thousands have benefited from Grow’s program over the last 60 years and those that have come through the Program into wellness remain very passionate about it!  Grow is a truly remarkable community organisation achieving truly remarkable results.

Our research from the 2014-15 Financial Year indicates that:

98% of people who participate in Grow would refer Grow to other people – an outstanding customer satisfaction statistic which highlights our “socksess”.

Other results include:

  • Over 80% of participants felt optimistic about the future – a critical factor in healing
  • Nearly 90% feel they are developing emotional maturity while over 82% say they looking after their physical health
  • 85% feel they have a good network of friends and support through Grow – which helps them regain their confidence and independence and improve participation in the workforce and the community
  • Nearly 80% feel they are improving problem relationships
  • 83% feel they can now take charge of their own life.

These, and other psychosocial factors, help measure an individual’s current capacity to transcend their condition or circumstances and achieve lasting recovery, so they can “take their responsible and caring place in the wider community”.

Our history

Grow was established in Sydney in 1957 and  has branches in each state and territory. The truly unique and powerful Grow Program was developed by people who had been through mental illness, so it’s a program for mental well being made by people who were “in the same boat”.  These individuals discovered the enormous benefit of organised mutual help while attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.  They preserved their experiences and developed a program for maturity and mental well being that could be shared with others.  Originally called Recovery, the name was changed to Grow in 1974 to reflect how beneficial the Program could be to anybody wanting to improve their life, not just those who are mentally ill.

For more information

For more information on Grow and its work, please go to www.grow.org.au