Seeds for new mental health project Grow planted locally

THREE Northern Rivers community organisations, Mid-Richmond Neighbourhood Centre, GROW - Community Based Mental Health Support and Lifeline Northern Rivers are joining forces to launch an innovative community mental health project - GROW.

The project will offer increased support to community members living with a mental illness and provide information about mental illness and its potential effects on friends and neighbours.

Catherine O'Halloran from the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre said the need for a wellbeing project focussing on creating a program of mutual support and personal development was identified at a community event held during Suicide Prevention Week last year.

"At this beautiful, community driven event people started talking about how hard it is to live with disorder in their lives and we all realised we needed a community project in Evans Head where people can be supported and encouraged to look out for themselves and each other," she said.

As part of the project, Evans Head will be the site for a new GROW mental health support group.

Grow Groups meet weekly and vary in size from three to 10 members, and are run by seasoned 'Growers' who have taken a voluntary leadership role within the Group.

The first GROW meeting in Evans Head will take place on May 20.

The community education part of the project will be coordinated by Lifeline Northern Rivers.

As part of that program, free Mental Health First Aid training workshops will be held in Evans Head on May 28 and 29.

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person who is showing signs of poor mental health, or who is in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves.

Over the coming months Lifeline will be offering a range of other community training including Safe Talk, a half day suicide prevention and intervention training course and a two day Domestic Violence Response training course .



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