About GROW

A Proven Program for Mental Wellbeing


What is GROW ?

GROW is a volunteer association of people who know they need a stabilising influence to correct a mental, social or spiritual condition in their life and who earnestly desire to change and are willing to help one another grow to personal maturity.

GROW’s broad basis of belief is in overselves and one another as persons and in the spiritual values of mind, heart and character, which we have found to be the foundation for mental wellbeing and an enjoyable life.

GROW’s History

GROW began in Sydney, Australia, in 1957 when a number of mental health sufferers came together to find a way back to normal living and happiness. In those early days, there was very little community support for mental health and some joined Alcoholics Anonymous to help their recovery. From there, a small group of AA members decided to develop their own 12 step program specifically for mental wellness.

Besides using their own resources and helping one another, they resolved to record and keep the insights, attitude and practical help that worked for them. As the groups attracted more and more people who had problems they enlarged the scope of their movement to include prevention as well as rehabilitation. The first GROW group in New Zealand was formed in 1965.

This accumulation of shared experience is today enriching the lives of many thousands of Growers and their surrounding communities with a unique store of understanding of what mental health is, how it is impaired and lost, and how it can be regained.

GROW spread from Australia to other countries such as:

New Zealand,


United States of America

Three Essential Features

GROW’s school of life and leadership involves three essential features:

  1. A Program of Growth to Maturity based on natural rules for healthy living and proven steps of recovery and personal growth.
  2. A Group Method for problem solving and mutual education which enables ordinary people without professional training to run their own groups.
  3. A Caring and Sharing Community, amounting to a network of friendship and trustworthy helpers.

About GROW Group’s

GROW’s own members run the groups, which are overseen by seasoned trained leaders. Each group’s membership varies in size from 5 to 9 people. Meetings are held weekly, last two hours, and are followed by refreshments.

They combine personal testimonies, reports on progress, group work on members’ problems and adult education about rebuilding lives. Between meetings, members keep in touch through friendly phone calls, a variety of organised socials and regular training days.

Group membership is anonymous, non-denominational and open to all. No membership fees or dues are charged, no introductions or referrals are needed, just come along. To get a brief glance of a GROW group in action, watch the first video on the Audiovisual page.

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