PEER SUPPORT INITIATIVE: Grow fieldworker, Louis Coutts.
PEER SUPPORT INITIATIVE: Grow fieldworker, Louis Coutts. Marguerite Cuddihy

Group to help you Grow

THE Maranoa region is set to benefit from a new online peer-support initiative to break down barriers in accessing mental health.

Grow is a national not-for-profit organisation that specialises in no-charge, self-help groups for people who are experiencing mental illness.

With the help of funding from the Queensland Mental Health Commission, Grow is trialling eGrow throughout the Maranoa region, a virtual meeting for people who aren't able to attend a group in person due to regional limitations.

For more than 60 years, Grow has been giving people the tools, courage and friendship to change their lives.

"We've got 22 groups in Queensland and 20 of those are face-to-face,” state manager Irene Clelland said.

Ms Clelland said the Queensland branch currently supports two groups to meet via video conference, with one specifically being in the Maranoa region.

Participants are able to connect to the eGrow group at home or in a private space at a local office.

The group connects weekly with other people in the region for about 1.5-2hrs. Grow uses an evaluated and established model of group support which helps peers work together to develop confidence, resilience and problem-solving strategies.

Grow fieldworker Louis Coutts said the main initiative of the program was to break down barriers.

"We're here to reach out to people in communities that may not be able to come to face-to-face groups,” he said.

"The beauty of the Grow program is that there's no formal referral process.

"It's not just for people with diagnosed mental health problems who can come along.”

For more information about the online groups, head to grow.org.au.


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