The organization was brought to Illinois in 1978 by Australian GROW leaders, at the invitation of Professor O. Hobart Mowrer from the University of Illinois. Mowrer, a community psychologist, was researching the concept of self help, and believed member-run services add an essential element to mental health care.
GROW has been active in Illinois for 38 years and developed a network of 115 mutual help groups across the state. GROW groups meet at community venues and groups for special populations meet in professionally-operated facilities. GROW in Illinois was primarily funded by the Division of Mental Health through June 30, 2015.
In the absence of state budget appropriations the Department of Human Services and the Division of Mental Health were forced to make drastic cuts, eliminating many state funded programs. Without state funding GROW in Illinois is entirely dependent on donations and fundraising activities.
GROW leaders and staff in Illinois work collaboratively with GROW in America, GROW in New Jersey, and GROW International to ensure the authentic development of the GROW organization throughout the world.
We invite you to visit an Illinois GROW group -- you don’t need an invitation or introduction. To find a group near you, call 1-217-352-6989.
Note: GROW groups for special populations meet in hospitals, mental health agencies, drop-in centers, and forensic units across the state. For more information about special GROW groups, please call the number above.