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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®

18th Birthday Book Special


Getting Well: The Seeds of WRAP

In anticipation of WRAP's 18th birthday on March 6, 2015, I would like to refer you to articles I wrote prior to the development of WRAP and several early articles.  Here is the first, written in 1995, before WRAP was developed. The seeds of WRAP are clearly being formed through the gathering of the 5 Key Recovery Concepts: Hope, Personal Responsibility, Education, Self Advocacy, and Support, that are so obvious in the first steps of my journey to wellness.  You can see how I began using what we now call Wellness Tools, those tools that helped me through that difficult time, and how I began to observe the Early Warning Signs that told me I needed to take action before things got worse.

Getting well is a process that began for me a long time ago. I never expect to finish. Given different responses from my supporters and health care providers in my life, my journey might have been very different. In this article, I want to share what did happen and how I actually am getting well. At the conclusion of the article I will share some perspectives on how I think my life could have been different (and a lot of pain averted), and how mental health challenges might be more appropriately dealt with to keep us from becoming "chronic mental patients".  Keep in mind that responses to particular treatment, management and self help scenarios varies with each individual. There is no one answer for everyone. We have to each search out the right path for ourselves.

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WRAP Turns 18!

WRAP Share & Giveaway


Listening Differently

Listening Differently sounds strange to us. Most of us probably already know what it means to listen. You just don’t talk, rather you take in what the other person is saying… But is that all you do? Actually, even when you are not speaking you are communicating all sorts of things, by your facial expressions, where you cough, lose your attention and probably a myriad of other reactions. So I would add that listening differently really means listening with intention… the intention of curiosity and wonder.

Let me go back a few steps. When we engage in conversation we already have opinions, biases, and judgments. This is not a bad thing, it just is. We can’t help it, we’ve been in this world for a while, had many conversations, formed ideas and thoughts about many things. We may try to hide it from the person we’re listening to but in some ways they may come out.

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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