What does the name "GROW" signify?
The goal of GROW is recovery and personal growth, and the name “GROW” represents this goal. Recovery and personal growth are, after all, one continuously active process that is common to all humanity.
GROW was founded in Australia in 1957 by former mental patients who found their way to recovery together and created a program that worked. Gradually the organization evolved into an international mental health movement with branches in the USA (Illinois, New Jersey and Alaska), Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Trinidad/Tobago.
GROW's Four Essential Features
GROW has a unique method of recovery and personal growth known as “The Four Essential
Features.” These four elements include a network of mutual help groups, a
written “Program of Recovery and Personal Growth,” a “Caring and Sharing
Community” and an organizational and legal structure.
GROW groups are organized, friendly help. Groups
follow a standard format or “Group Method,” that enables any member
to lead the meeting and ensures that groups are both supportive and
productive. Meetings include a personal testimony, problem-solving
with assignment of practical tasks, reports on progress, and development
of new understandings through mutual education.
GROW members learn new ways of thinking and acting through group
participation and by practicing the “GROW Program of Recovery and
Personal Growth.” The Program is a written, structured philosophy
of life and psychology of mental health for the ordinary person. It
was born out of our founders’ resolve to record and keep what worked in
their own recovery, and its continued development has been ensured by GROW
leaders over the years.
The true heart and spirit of GROW is its “Caring and Sharing Community,”
where members realize weekly group work in their daily lives. The
GROW community is based on a network of friendships and developed through
diverse social, educational and leadership events. Friendship is the foundation of the Caring leadership
and Sharing Community and the special key to mental health.
Our experience of GROW friendship is healing and harmonizing and
essential to our recovery and personal growth.
- THE ORGANIZATIONAL AND LEGAL STRUCTURE: We accomplish two goals by maintaining
an organizational and legal structure: We can be consistent and
responsible in meeting the needs of our membership while also remaining
accountable to our funding authorities. This structure, which is
administered by experienced leaders and paid staff, serves to protect the
authenticity of the groups, the GROW Program and the Caring and Sharing
LEADERSHIP: Leaders foster, protect, and share the Four Essential Features
of GROW for one major reason -- because GROW has worked in their own lives.
Because it has worked for them, they know it can also work for others.
Future GROW leaders join a group out of personal need but eventually discover
that one solution to their own problems lies in helping others. Leaders become
companions and friends to those in need and fill many other essential roles –
such as that of group “Organizer,” leadership team member, and staff person.