For so many of us, the challenges we face every day can become overwhelming. Job stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, grief, family struggles and so much more can make us feel like we are lost and on our own.
An Irish charity called Grow Mental Health has been providing safe, confidential spaces for anyone who finds themselves in this position for over 50 years.
Meetings provide the space for people to share and learn about new ways to support themselves and others. They also provide a community of peers who understand. Grow extends beyond the meetings, too. Groups often meet up for coffee, country walks, movie clubs, weekend retreats, and much more.
No introductions or referrals are required to attend a Grow meeting or to join a group. Newcomers are warmly welcomed by the group and are not expected to participate in any way other than to observe the proceedings and experience being fully accepted and valued just for being themselves. There is no charge for attending meetings. They are open to everybody over 18 years of age and they run for about two hours.
People come to Grow for different reasons. Some come to find hope or to have access to the support of their fellow Grow members. Others wish to develop their own personal resources and to develop ways to overcome problems.
Whatever their reasons for coming to Grow, members will become part of a community of peers and will establish true and lasting friendships. They will be guided through a twelve step recovery programme by others who have travelled the journey before them.
Meetings typically last an hour and a half and are followed by tea, coffee, biscuits, and chat. Groups are small, usually in single figures and no referral or introduction is needed – you can just come along.
Our meetings are anonymous, non-denominational, non-judgmental, and open to all. Our peer support groups are run by members, for members.
Our meetings are structured so we can have a blend of problem solving, reading of literature and healthy discussion. Our programme booklet is based on the wisdom and learnings of our members written down during the years.
So, why Peer Support?
Many new members coming to our groups for the first time, talk about how they find it so difficult to talk to their family, friends, or work colleagues about their problems. In Grow meetings, things are different. We have a strong commitment to confidentiality that is agreed to by all members at every meeting. We create a safe place where someone who feels they have been on a downhill trajectory can open up and be given support by other people who have been there.
Why not take a closer look at Grow to understand how our program of growth and recovery might be right for you.
The new Roscommon Support Group began operating on August 16 last and will meet every Wednesday from 11am to 1pm in REGARI Recovery College, Athlone Road, Ardsallagh More in Roscommon town. (Beside Roscommon Hospital.)
Call or text Antoinette on (086)1659277 or email AntoinetteGallagher@grow.ie for more information.
For more information on local mental health supports please click HERE.