Mental health services move online to prevent feelings of isolation

ISOLATION has changed everyone’s lives with particular worries about how people in need of mental health services can access help.

Fortunately Grow NSW, which has services available in Lismore, Ballina and across NSW, has moved their mental wellness groups online to improve accessibility.

David McLoughlin, Branch Manager of Grow NSW/ACT, said that the move online has been a major positive for their program.

“All our groups are meeting in online video conferencing which is going really well, the geographically located groups are meeting online and socialising together online as well which is breaking down that risk of becoming isolated again.”

“The thing about the online groups is they’re borderless, we’ve even had people from Ireland, from New Zealand, from America join our Grow groups,” Mr McLoughlin said.

Grow’s mental wellness program is open to all those who need a confidential, anonymous program which Mr McLoughlin said has had great results.

“The outcomes are really good, we have some really good outcomes in results to suicide prevention, a lot of those people don’t even think about suicide after attending Grow and they regain a sense of hope, people in decline tend to lose a sense of hope.”

Grow NSW uses a holistic 12 step approach program to help those in need but Mr McLoughlin said it was the support network Grow provided which was the biggest help.

“The group environment … is a means of drawing on the collective experience of those that have recovered and their lived experience of recovery that they pass on.”

“You tend to make friends with people in the groups … after a while we build friendships and it’s voluntary to share phone numbers but we do check in and see how people are travelling, it breaks down the isolation,” Mr McLoughlin said.

For more details, contact Grow NSW on 1800 558 268 or visit the website,

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

OPINION: Our journos have been covering news that matters on the Northern Rivers...

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Queensland border: Opening with NSW in November may be in doubt