Many people are intimidated or overwhelmed by anxiety before they step foot into a Grow Program support group. This is a completely understandable reaction. It can be intimidating for a first-time participant to make the first step and walk into a meeting on your own either physically or online. First-timers are always welcome to bring a support person with them, but sometimes that’s not possible.

To help demystify what happens at a Grow Group, we are launching a Welcome to Grow orientation session so that people who are interested in attending can get a sense of what takes place when you walk through the doors of a group or log onto one of our eGrow meetings.

Taking place each Monday at 7.30pm (AEST) via Zoom anyone can attend to get an insight about what takes place in a group environment. These sessions give interested people the opportunity to learn more about our Program and how it can support their mental health and wellbeing.

The GROW program was designed by consumers and delivered by consumers, and that still remains the case today. GROW works on a model of peer-to-peer support, often called intentional peer support and continues to provide leadership in this area across Australia whether through the classic Grow group programs, or our eGrow online forums.

Attending a Grow group doesn’t require a diagnosis – even though most people do have one – you don’t need a medical referral, although we are engaged in integrated care pathways, for example, in acute mental health units where our field workers with our consumers meet with inpatients and provide them with information on what we do, and the opportunity to join a group – a way forward after their hospitalisation.

By attending the Welcome to Grow online orientation, you will understand more about GROW and our groups. The sessions will talk about our peer-to-peer support approach. The session facilitator will give an overview and explain how the program works and what to expect.

The Welcome to Grow sessions are open to anyone – whether you’re a prospective member or an interested organisation who may want to understand more about what takes place during a Grow group so that you can then recommend it to your clients. As we know, formal mental health services are not designed to provide the kind of social support, friendship, role models and community that is important to mental health recovery. This is what GROW excels at.

If you’d like more information you can phone 1800 558 268. The orientation sessions, like our program, are free of charge and there’s no obligation to join a group or participate further.