Grow’s mutual help groups provide an important gateway to wellbeing and mental health.
Several independent research studies over the last 25 years, in Australia and the United States of America have proven that Grow’s program has helped people to full recovery and re-integrate into the wider community with individuals taking their responsible and caring place in society. For other Grow members it achieves a reduction in the need for admission or re-admission to hospital and for the majority it improves their quality of life by providing on-going mutual weekly support and the establishment of a network of friendships recover and sustain their recovery from mental illness.
A doctoral study conducted by Dr Jim Young at Tasmania University highlighted the benefits of long-term membership of Grow.
Research conducted by Dr Lisabeth Finn at Curtin University in Western Australia found that Grow’s major advantage is that it offers a mini-community where people can develop new skills.
In 2012, Jenifer Evans, a Master’s student from the University of Western Sydney, investigated the sense of belonging that is formed by the safety provided by the Grow Groups.
Each year Grow surveys its members to learn what impact participating in Grow has had on their mental health. The 2015 survey found that:
85% felt an improved sense of personal value
77% experienced an improved sense of belonging and connection with the community
81% reported an improved network of friends and personal supports
67% said that Grow had directly contributed to their recovery from mental illness