October 10 marks World Mental Health Day, a day when mental health awareness and the importance of looking after our mental wellbeing is promoted globally and locally.
One Mayo woman is sharing her ongoing journey of mental health recovery to provide hope, comfort and inspiration to others who may be struggling with their mental wellbeing.
‘Ruth’ (not her real name ) attends weekly GROW mental health support groups in Co Mayo and believes that GROW has provided her, not only with practical mental health tools and techniques, but hope for the future.
"My depression, anxiety and mood swings ruled my life for years until I discovered GROW. Through the GROW Programme, I tackled my problems and changed my negative thought patterns", she said.
According to Ruth, one of the major benefits of GROW is the understanding and support provided by others who have experienced mental health challenges.
"The other group members were so supportive and encouraging. With their help and support, gradually I was able to cope with the challenges of life. Friendship is the key to mental health", she says.
GROW Area Coordinator in Mayo, Emily Grufferty similarly highlights the role of peer-support and mutual understanding in the GROW Programme and overall mental health recovery.
"As we head back into the routine of autumn and with World Mental Health Day coming up, it is important to be mindful of looking after our mental and emotional health and wellbeing. At GROW, the emphasis is on reaching out to others, practical weekly tasks, a designated recovery programme, and above all, the wisdom, shared experience, insight, understanding and friendship of others.
"In GROW, we remind people that ‘you don’t have to do it alone’ and that is an important message as we head into World Mental Health Day and World Mental Health Week,” she said.
GROW peer-support groups are free to attend and confidential. Groups meet each Monday at 7.30pm in the MTSG Building in Thomas Street in Castlebar; 2pm on Tuesdays in the Family and Community Resource Centre at The Fairgreen, Cahernamart, Westport and also at 8pm in the Community Centre, Teeling Street, Ballina. Meanwhile, a weekly GROW group meets at 8pm each Thursday in St Nathy’s Pastoral Centre, Charlestown.
For more details about GROW or your nearest GROW group, contact Emily Grufferty on 086-4183543.