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What is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®) and how do I use it?

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan®, or WRAP®, is an evidence based practice that is used world-wide by people who are dealing with mental health challenges as well as medical conditions. Diabetes, weight gain, pain management, addictions, smoking, and trauma are just some of the many life challenges that can benefit from WRAP. WRAP can also be used as a framework to guide relationships in peer support, recovery groups, agencies, and organizations.

WRAP is being used in schools, prisons, hospitals, and veterans’ facilities. It is used with people of all ages who want to attain the highest possible level of wellness. It was originally developed by a group of people who lived with mental health difficulties and were searching for ways to resolve their wellness issues. WRAP was their answer, and it can be used by anyone looking to develop a plan to manage a path to wellness.

WRAP involves listing your personal resources, your Wellness Tools, and then using those resources to develop an Action Plan to use in specific situations which you determine. WRAP is adaptable for any situation and can include a Crisis Plan or Advance Directive.

WRAP is for Life! – It is for everyone, anytime, and for any of life's challenges.

 WRAP Overview                              

[video with Mary Ellen Copeland]      Click here to find out more about getting started with WRAP®

May Book Special


Listening for the Untold Story

The last article I wrote on Listening Differently involved ‘listening from a position of not knowing.’ In this short piece I talked about listening with the intention of curiosity and wonder. In this next piece I’d like to focus on listening for the untold story which perhaps goes a bit deeper.

communicationIf you think about it, we’ve all learned to communicate in the context of our families and communities. I might learn what is ok to say, and what I should not say. You might have learned asking for what you need is selfish, while I may have learned asking for what I need is assertive. So when we come together we're both trying to talk to each other out of a jumble of messages each of us has learned. For example if I’ve had grown up in a horribly abusive environment, I may assume that it’s not safe to ask others for anything so I may come on very strong when you offer support and say something like, “I don’t need you, you can’t help me!” If you respond defensively, and say, “hey look, I was just trying to be supportive,” we may miss what is really being conveyed and we may  disconnect.  If on the other hand, you listen with an ear for the untold story you may say, “It sounds like that really made you angry, and I have to say that pushes some buttons for me. I’m wondering if you’re feeling judged by my offer”.  Perhaps the response is something like “yes, I’ve been judged all my life” or even “no, it’s just that the last time somebody offered their support, I ended up locked up in the hospital”. In both of these responses, we are starting to get a glimpse of the “larger story.”



Have You Visited Our NEW WRAP Share Website?

Read inspiring stories about how WRAP has helped others:

WRAP Share Quote

Visit WRAP4YourLife.com for More...


Highly Recommended WRAP Course

I have taken the course Implementing Mental Health Evidence-Based Practices: The Case of Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) and I recommend it highly to anyone who is implementing, has implemented or is considering implementing a WRAP program or any other evidence-based program, and for Advanced Level WRAP Facilitators who might find themselves advocating for WRAP programs, helping to get the program started and insuring its continuance.  

The course gives detailed instructions for implementation that, if followed, insure success. The beginning of the course is more generic, giving the basics of successful implementation, and toward the end it focuses almost exclusively on WRAP. This course would have been of great value to me over the years in my efforts to disseminate WRAP. It would have helped me avoid missteps, those times when I had to back up and take a different track or change the focus of my efforts. Although WRAP has done very well, as I took the course I thought about different ways we could have done things, and how that might have enhanced and eased the process.

This course is eligible for Continuing Education credit for those who need it. At a cost of $5.00, it is the best bargain around. You can access it at http://www.cmhsrp.uic.edu/health/ebp-wrap-course.asp.


WRAP is Born

As a happy birthday present to WRAP, I worked with Em Richards, Jane Winterling and Ed Anthes to develop a video, WRAP Retrospective, that chronicles the development of WRAP. It includes many old pictures and some video footage. I think you will like a lot.  I hope you enjoy it; Please do let me know. Share it with everyone.

Since WRAP was developed in 1997 it has spread all over the world and continues to grow everyday as a tool to enrich and empower lives. Stories have been shared,WRAP is Born friendships formed and communities have been built. People have reclaimed their lives and have become the way they always wanted to be. They are doing the things they had always hoped they would be able to do. Mental health and health care systems are incorporating the Key Concepts, WRAP and WRAP Values and Ethics into everything they do.

Following is an article I wrote in 1997. It continues the story from "Getting Well: the Seeds of WRAP". It describes the process of how the part of WRAP were formed 18 years ago.

Read More


Mary Ellen Copeland and her staff cannot address personal mental health problems and issues. We care very much about your concerns but we must focus our efforts on education and resource development. For more information on how to get help for yourself or the people you are supporting, please use the resources on this website.

© 1995-2015 Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD All Rights Reserved