We spoke to Rob Stephen, who has been involved for almost 20 years with GROW, a charity which aims to help those suffering with mental health issues.
GROW is a mental health charity that originated in Australia before the first office was created in Ireland in 1959. The first meeting of the Mid West region of the charity was held in the Limerick in 1969.
The charity grew in strength in the 1980s but they only got their first premises in 2012 when businessman JP McManus helped them purchase the office that they use today.
GROW help to organise meetings where people with mental health difficulties can come together for two hours and discuss their problems in a safe environment. People meet others who are on a similar journey and can build friendships that help people see that they are not alone.
Meetings are free to attend and are for all adults over the age of 18.
So what are the signs to look out for if you think someone is experience mental health issues?
He said: “Anxiety can be one indicator of difficulties with mental health. Another important thing to look out for is isolation. If people start thinking in isolation then they can go off track very quickly.”
They have big plans in the pipeline to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the charity.
He stated: “The Lifelong Learning Festival takes place in April and we participate with roughly ten other charities to highlight the mental health services in the region and to help improve people’s mental wellbeing.”
The charity are hoping to organise a virtual walk from Australia to Ireland and further details will be announced on their website, https://grow.ie/, and their Facebook page: GROW Ireland. Mental health week in October is an initiatve that they will be supporting also.
GROW have provided fantastic service to the are for half a century. Here’s to 50 more!!
Facebook: GROW Ireland
GROW Midwest Office: 33 Henry Street
Midwest Region Phone Number: 061 318813
Information Line 1800 474 474