GROW is a peer support and mutual-aid organization for recovery from, and prevention of, serious mental illness. GROW was founded in Sydney, Australia in 1957 by Father Cornelius B. "Con" Keogh, a Roman Catholic priest, and psychiatric patients who sought help with their mental illness in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Consequently, GROW adapted many of AA's principles and practices. As the organization matured, GROW members learned of Recovery International, an organization also created to help people with serious mental illness, and integrated pieces of its will-training methods. As of 2005 there were more than 800 GROW groups active worldwide. GROW groups are open to anyone who would like to join, though they specifically seek out those who have a history of psychiatric hospitalization or are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Despite the capitalization, GROW is not an acronym. Much of GROW's initial development was made possible with support of from Orval Hobart Mowrer, Reuben F. Scarf, W. Clement Stone and Lions Clubs International.
- For more details on this topic, see Self-help groups for mental health: Group processes
GROW's literature includes the Twelve Stages of Decline, which indicate that emotional illness begins with self-centeredness, and the Twelve Steps of Personal Growth, a blend of AA's Twelve Steps and will-training methods from Recovery International. GROW members view recovery as an ongoing life process rather than an outcome and are expected to continue following the Steps after completing them in order to maintain their mental health.
The Twelve Stages of Decline
The Twelve Steps of Recovery and Personal Growth
GROW suggests atheists and agnostics use "We became inattentive to objective natural order in our lives" and "We trusted in a health-giving power in our lives as a whole" for the Second Stage of Decline and Third Step of Personal Growth, respectively.
Results of qualitative analysis
Statistical evaluations of interviews with GROW members found they identified self-reliance, industriousness, peer support, and gaining a sense of personal value or self-esteem as the essential ingredients of recovery. Similar evaluations of GROW's literature revealed thirteen core principles of GROW's program, they are reproduced in the list below by order of relevance with a quote from GROW's literature explaining the principle.
- For more details on this topic, see Self-help groups for mental health: Effectiveness
Participation in GROW has been shown to decrease the number of hospitalizations per member as well as the duration of hospitalizations when they occur. Members report an increased sense of security and self-esteem, and decreased anxiety. A longitudinal study of GROW membership found time involved in the program correlated with increased autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, self-acceptance and social skills. Women in particular experience positive identity transformation, build friendships and find a sense of community in GROW groups.
The Program of Growth to Maturity, generally referred to as the 'Blue Book', is the principal literature used in GROW groups. The book is divided into three sections based on the developmental stages of members: 'Beginning Growers', 'Progressing Growers' and 'Seasoned Growers'. Additionally, there are three related books written by Cornelius B. Keogh, and one by Anne Waters, used in conjunction with the Blue Book.
- GROW (1983). GROW: World Community Mental Health Movement: The Program of Growth to Maturity (the "Blue Book"). Sydney, Australia: GROW Publications. OCLC 66288113.
- Keogh, Cornelius B. (1975). Readings for mental health (the "Brown Book"). Sydney, Australia: GROW Publications. ISBN 0-909114-00-5. OCLC 47699449.
- Keogh, Cornelius B.; GROW (Australia) (1967). Readings for recovery (the "Red Book"). Sydney Australia: GROW. OCLC 154602570.
- Keogh, Cornelius B. (1967). Recovery. Sydney, Australia. OCLC 57499165.
- Waters, Anne (2005). GROWing to Maturity: A Potpourri of Readings for Mental Health (the "Lavender Book"). GROW in Ireland Ltd. ISBN 0-9529198-2-6.
- Emotions Anonymous
- Recovery International (formerly Recovery, Inc.)
- Self-help groups for mental health
- Kurtz, Linda F.; Chambon, Adrienne (1987). "Comparison of self-help groups for mental health". Health & Social Work 12 (4): 275–283. ISSN 0360-7283. OCLC 2198019. PMID 3679015.
- Keogh, C.B. (1979). GROW Comes of Age: A Celebration and a Vision!. Sydney, Australia: GROW Publications. ISBN 0-909114-01-3. OCLC 27588634.
- Corrigan, Patrick; Slopen, Natalie; Garcia, Gabriela; Keogh, Cornelius B.; Keck, Lorraine (December 2005). "Some Recovery Processes in Mutual-Help Groups for Persons with Mental Illness; II: Qualitative Analysis of Participant Interviews". Community Mental Health Journal 41 (6): 721–735. doi:10.1007/s10597-005-6429-0. ISSN 0010-3853. OCLC 38584278. PMID 16328585.
- Rappaport, J.; Seidman, E.; Toro, P. A.; McFadden, L. S.; Reischl, T. M.; Robers, L. J.; Salem D. A.; Stein, C. H.; Zimmerman, M. A.; (Winter 1985). "Collaborative research with a mutual help organization". Social Policy 15 (3): 12–24. ISSN 0037-7783. OCLC 1765683. PMID 10270879.
- Clay, Sally (2005). "Chapter 7: GROW in Illinois" (PDF). On Our Own, Together: Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press. pp. 141–158. ISBN 0-8265-1466-9. OCLC 56050965.
- GROW (1983). GROW: World Community Mental Health Movement: The Program of Growth to Maturity. Sydney, Australia: GROW Publications. OCLC 66288113.
- Corrigan, Patrick W.; Calabrese, Joseph D; Diwan, Sarah E.; Keogh, Cornelius, B.; Keck, Lorraine; Mussey, Carol (2002). "Some Recovery Processes in Mutual-Help Groups for Persons with Mental Illness; I: Qualitative Analysis of Program Materials and Testimonies". Community Mental Health Journal 38 (4): 287–301. doi:10.1023/A:1015997208303. ISSN 0010-3853. OCLC 38584278. PMID 12166916.
- Kennedy, Mellen (1990). "Psychiatric Hospitalizations of GROWers". Second Biennial Conference on Community Research and Action, East Lansing, Michigan. cited in Kyrouz, Elaina M.; Humphreys, Keith; Loomis, Colleen (October 2002). "Chapter 4: A Review of Research on the Effectiveness of Self-help Mutual Aid Groups". In White, Barbara J.; Madara, Edward J. American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse Self-Help Group Sourcebook (7th ed.). American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse. pp. 71–86. ISBN 1-930683-00-6. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- Finn, Lisabeth D.; Bishop, Brian; Sparrow, Neville H. (May 2007). "Mutual help groups: an important gateway to wellbeing and mental health". Australian Health Review 31 (2): 246–255. ISSN 1449-8944. PMID 17470046.
- Kercheval, Briony L (March 2005). Women's experiences at GROW: 'There's an opportunity there to grow way beyond what you thought you could...' (Master of Applied Psychology (Community) School of Psychology, Faculty of Arts thesis). Victoria, Australia: Victoria University, Footscray. Archived from the original on 2010-01-22. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- GROW in America, growinamerica.org
- GROW in Australia, grow.net.au
- GROW in Ireland, grow.ie
- GROW in New Zealand, grow.org.nz
- Works by or about GROW (Movement) in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by or about GROW in libraries (WorldCat catalog)