Growing through the hard times

A community member’s story

HSP community member Michael talks about his challenges with mental health in a recent newspaper article in rural Victoria where he lives.


After hitting rock bottom, Michael took control of his mental health through his participation in the mental health support group GROW. Michael was at his lowest point when his physical health took a turn for the worst. After an accident that left him with a fractured spine, Michael was diagnosed with HSP along with spinal osteoporosis. Lying in a hospital bed in Tatura for 12 weeks coming to terms with the reality that he would slowly lose control of his legs, Michael felt despair. On the same day Michael’s sister was also diagnosed with HSP.

During his convalescence, Michael came across a pamphlet for the mental health support group GROW. Attending GROW has helped him to manage his mental health. He has been attending GROW for six years, and is now the organiser of his local group.

The GROW program is a 12-step process of personal growth, mutual help and support. “It’s a peer support group, so everybody is in a group of members, people with the lived experience of mental illness, which helps a lot,” Michael said.

Read the full article.

From the GROW website

Find a Group

Our meetings take place in a safe, caring and confidential way, whether the meetings are face-to-face, or online, known as eGrow groups. Our members meet weekly and follow the Group Method. Meetings run for about two hours. Groups vary in size from 3-10 members. Find a Group here

GROW has several programs on offer.

Growing Resilience

Growing Resilience is a free online peer-to-peer program to help you improve your mental health and build resilience in times of high distress.


eGrow groups run the same as the Grow Program. The only difference is it’s an online mental health support group! We use Zoom to connect with your eGrow group which is based on the traditional Grow Program.

You can join a group and participate in the Grow Program from the comfort of your own your house. If you’re unable to attend a physical Grow group you can access meetings online across Australia at a time that is suitable to you by using eGrow for your mental health support. 

Over the course of each meeting, the group engages in a series of group discussions that follow the same structure and format as a face-to-face meeting; the only difference is it’s online!

Any member from any location can now receive mental health support and connect with others at a time most convenient to you.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Grow Groups, the Welcome to Grow mental health support group orientation takes place each Monday at 7.30pm (AEST) and on Thursday’s at 1pm (AEDT). 

For more information or to see the times of our eGrow groups, please register your interest by using the sign up for eGrow button below. 

Download the eGrow flyer.


Shepparton News. Oct 6, 2022

Growing through the hard times

GROW Australia – peer support groups for mental health

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