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Grow in America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Mental Health, Residential Mental Health Treatment

Mission: GROW's mission is to promote mental health recovery, personal growth and prevention within our weekly mutual help support groups and throughout our supportive community. As members we strive first to take personal responsibility for changing ourselves, and ultimately as leaders we become “gentle builders of a free and whole community” by contributing to the recovery of others.

Target demographics: All are welcome to come to GROW. Most members are between the ages of 21 and 65. There are special groups in development for young adults in some areas. Also groups for military veterans, spanish speaking population and others are operating in some locations. Please call us for more information

Geographic areas served: We are eager to expand GROW beyond Illinois, New Jersey and Alaska. Consequently, we welcome your inquiries about bringing GROW to your area or state. Our goal is to develop GROW as a package that includes a network of groups. However, we usually need to begin conservatively, with one or two GROW groups and some local leadership training. Please contact us to discuss development possibilities in your state.

Programs: Facilitating of community mental health support groups to rehabilitate and prevent the need for hospitalization of the mentally ill.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Wife Tracy started to work for GROW 6 years ago. She comes home with a rewarding smile every day. She doesn't make hardly any money for what she does working with individuals that need her positive energy for encouragement. I don't understand it, I was raised to always work where the money is whether or not I enjoyed my job or not. Tracy tells me, to her it don't matter because her Mentality of life has changed since working at GROW beacuse of the principals and wisdom from the program. Well I say more power to her, she is helping people and making it, I support her and the program whether or not I understand it is not important. It's making my wife happy and that is what is important to me. I trust her judgement this program is a new way of living and it works , so if anything happens to it I don't believe that will benefit anything in the long run. I hope that the strong people behind GROW, Like my wife will be able to keep it alive and thriving throughout the rest of our lives her on GODS Green earth.
Thanks for listening. Jim Dionne , Husband to Tracy Dionne's

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved in GROW for over 28 years. I suffered depression after the sudden death of my husband and was told about GROW by a relation of mine. I always connected twelve step programs with alcoholism and drugs and didn't know there was one for mental sufferers. Two of the steps helped me greatly with my negative thinking: "We changed our wills to govern our feelings" and "We learned to think by reason rather than by feelings and imagination". They helped me in that I realized that I had to change my thinking in order to cope with life better. By practicing this Program it turned my life completely around in a very positive way and I am very grateful. I am always more than willing to volunteer for GROW in whatever way I can and have found it a very positive experience to share my growth experiences with others who need help. . I have seen miracles happen, people told by some Professionals that they would never work again, now back in the work force and some in completing their education because of the motivation and opportunity for full recovery that the GROW program gives them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I experienced GROW when I became a volunteer reading tutor to one of the residents in Kankakee. Being in the GROW House was an eye-opening experience. I had not realized that this wonderful program existed. The staff and the residents made me feel very welcome. In addition to the tutoring, I was invited to many celebrations. During the time I spent there, I was able to see the GROW program in action. I was impressed by the cooperative attitudes and activities. Every person had a job to do, and they did it well. What I really liked about GROW was the unique relationship between the staff and the residents. It was not "us" and "them", but more of a "we". I could see the residents and staff working together in a friendly, cooperative, and compassionate way to improve the mental health of all who needed help.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen the incredibly positive effect the GROW program has had on a number of people - not least my sister who turned her life around with the aid of the program. She had borne the scars of abuse in childhood and was, not surprisingly, a very troubled adult, with highly dysfunctional behavior. She embraced the GROW program which seemed to provide her with positive insight and a constructive way to handle her problems.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been acquainted with GROW in America for over 15 years, in particular with the residential facility in Kankakee, Il. This program gives hope to those who suffer from mental illness. For many, this has been their last chance. Through this program, I have watched as residents have grown and gained confidence and were then able to step back out into society. This took time, hard work and patience on the part of both the resident and the very caring and dedicated staff. It was impressive and hopeful to watch, to see people given another chance at life. When we are at our lowest, we need someone to recognize our need and come to our aid. That is what GROW IN AMERICA does.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Grow for 25 years a volunteer and a fieldworker for years the key to Grow is learning to help other people and in turn it helps you I love this program and know how it helps people live a better life no matter what there diagnosis.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GROW in America is made up of small groups who meet together to learn the GROW method of being mentally healthy. The Blue Book is a compilation of words of wisdom penned by pioneer Growers and handed down to us. The group meets once a week and is an excellent support group. I volunteered as an Organizer and enjoyed working with three groups. The material we learned in GROW helped me immeasurably especially when I experienced a loss. The support group aided in my healing. If you are truly committed to personal growth and empowerment, GROW will bless you greatly.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Grow is an Awesome Program. I found it through the local hospital at the beginning of my mental breakdown I had in 2004 which dramtatically effected my life. I was hospitalized 25 times within 2 years, Now it has been 6 1/2 years since I started my breakdown. Ive been in Grow since day 1, and because of the program I have been out of the hospital for over 4 years now because of Grow. It is the only mental health 12-step group i have ever found. It is so professionally constructed. The material is life-lasting and very powerful. I have seen so many people recover through Grow over these years and I could not function without it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have friends who have found grow to be extrememly helpful in helpinng them learn what they need to know to help themselves. The program is empowering and has a proven track record!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the music director at St. Teresa's Catholic Church near a GROW residence in Kankakee IL. The members of GROW and the staff have participated in many functions of the church such as setting up the church hall for large functions. In turn, members of the church have volunteered to help GROW raise funds in local campaigns and to help renovate their residence facility. The GROW residents are learning to care for both their immediate family in GROW and the community at large. The staff are very caring and highly motivated to keep the facility running despite many funding cut.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

GROW is one of the most under-appreciated treatment/recovery programs, not only in Illinois, but in our nation. Scientific research, some that I conducted myself, clearly indicates that members of the GROW program experience a recovery process that is more humane and respectful than mainstream, psychiatric treatment. The effects of being in and going through GROW are often nothing short of life-changing for Growers. Many of them say they come out a whole new person. GROW works because it helps people find a path to recovery that is unique and personally tailored to one's own needs. The idea that people recovery by way of mutual help is a straight-forward but powerful one, and the mental health field would benefit from putting these practices into use at all levels of treatment and recovery. Bottom line: GROW works. And it needs to be supported. A program like this must not fade away.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recovered from severe mental illness and had been looking for a self-group that would have helped me during the times I was mentally ill. I didn't find out about GROW until after my recovery. But I got so excited the first time I heard them speak at a conference because the things they were saying were some of the same things I did to recover. I live in Alaska, and I left Alaska and in 1990, I worked for GROW in the Chicago suburbs. What an excellent organization and what a powerful program to help people fully recovery from mental illness. They were teaching recovery in their self-help groups long before any professional in the field began espousing recovery. I'm back in Alaska and I'm the Executive Director of a peer/consumer-run non-profit and we're developing a GROW group to help people with their recoveries.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Grow is an organization made up of small groups of people who are trying to better their lives. Members range from people who are in a difficult situation, such as a bad marriage to people with serious mental health problems. It works both through the interaction of the people in the group and through reading and discussing principles of mental health.

I became a member of Grow when it was in Hawaii. I was depressed and probably a bit paranoid. I found friendship and acceptance in the group and was able to talk about my fears and problems. Just as important I listened to others talk and in trying to help them, I learned a lot about myself. I stayed on in Grow for many years as a volunteer and a group leader. This gave me confidence in myself which has influenced my life. Although most of my experience was in Hawaii, where I live, I also visited groups in Australia, Ireland and Illinois. The groups all use the same principles and structure. I found them very similar.

Not everyone who attends Grow meetings is finds solutions to their problems. The member must stay long enough to form ties to the group and to learn what it is about. I think all that do, benefit. I still use some of the sayings from the program in my ordinary life, and I know I understand myself and others better for my years in Grow.

Client Served

Rating: 5

GROW is a wonderful organization that really helps people. I didn't want to go at first, but once I got there I realized how much the GROW leaders truly care for everyone there. I was able to walk out of the meetings with my head held high knowing I wasn't alone and that I was going to be okay.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Grow has helped me overcome persistent depression and debilitating social anxiety. Grow has from the beginning given me a chance to lead and eventually volunteer. This has allowed me to face my fears head on. It's advice comes from people that have been through similair problems. I would not be were I am today if it was not for GROW.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GROW has helped me and my wife recover from serious mental illnesses. It is a wonderful organisation that really transforms lioves

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

GROW is an outstanding organization that helps many people throughout the community.

Review from Guidestar