The Wellness Recovery Action Plan®, or WRAP®, is an evidence-based system that is used world-wide by people who are dealing with mental health challenges as well as medical conditions such as diabetes, weight gain and pain management, and life issues like addictions, smoking, and trauma. It can also be used as a framework to guide interpersonal relationships in peer support, recovery groups, agencies, and organizations. WRAP is being used in many different places including schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans’ facilities, and with children, transition age youth, seniors, and anyone who wants to attain the highest possible level of wellness. It was developed by a group of people who have a lived experience of mental health difficulties; people who were searching for ways to resolve issues that had been troubling them for a long time. WRAP involves listing your personal resources, your Wellness Tools, and then using those resources to develop Action Plans to use in specific situations which are determined by you. WRAP is adaptable to any situation. WRAP also includes a Crisis Plan or Advance Directive.
WRAP is for everything ― it is for anyone, any time, and for any of life's challenges.
[video with Mary Ellen Copeland]
The Wellness Toolbox
My WRAP Crisis Plan
This colorful brochure offers a very convenient way to carry your WRAP Crisis Plan with you. In the event of a crisis, it's easy to share it with supporters and care providers. Now in Spanish.
Click on the image for more info
WRAP® listed by National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practice
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With Build Your Own WRAP, you get a course tutorial. It's like having someone personally walk you through each step of your WRAP, explaining each section while providing ideas and examples.
WRAP® One on One
Designed for people who are helping others develop WRAP® plans. Learn how to guide, facilitate, advise, support, and encourage another person (patient, client, peer, friend, family member) as they develop WRAP® plans using the Values and Ethics that have evolved as people have used this mental health recovery innovation.
Become a WRAP® Facilitator
Interested in becoming a mental health recovery educator? Spend 5 days with Copeland Center staff in a training which is designed to help you become a powerful change agent as a recovery educator. Learn about the Copeland Center.
Coming Soon: WRAP for Life
Mary Ellen Copeland's latest book, WRAP for Life, is an extensive revision of her 1999 book, Winning Against Relapse.
The original book was written when the Wellness Recovery Action Plan was still in its infancy, and when WRAP was originally developed by, and for use by, people who experienced mental health issues. WRAP is now widely used both as a preventive strategy and as a way to address all types of life issues.
WRAP for Life includes sample WRAP Plans designed to address specific issues such as smoking cessation, weight loss, aging, diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, incarceration, and a special chapter on suicide.
WRAP for Life will be available this summer
Seeds of WRAP: Getting Well
This article was written by Mary Ellen Copeland in 1995, before WRAP was developed. The seeds of WRAP are clearly being formed through the gathering of the Five Key Recovery Concepts, Hope, Personal Responsibility, Education, Self Advocacy, and Support, that are so obvious in these first steps of Mary Ellen's road to recovery. You can also see how she began using what we now call Wellness Tools, those tools that helped her through that difficult time, and how she began to observe the Early Warning Signs that told her she needed to take action before things got worse.
Spring is all around us here, in all its glory and hope, and so it seems like a good time to remember the seeds that became WRAP.
The History of WRAP:
This article continues the story, "Getting Well; the Seeds of WRAP" and describes the process on how the parts of WRAP were formed. Read how the concept that would become the Wellness Recovery Action Plan came into being.
Now let's fast forward. It is 1997. It is a cold winter day in northern Vermont. In the past 6 years I have written several books based on my studies, my mother has died at the age of 82, leaving her family and the community adrift in sorrow, and I have been traveling all over the country teaching people the simple, safe self-help skills and strategies that I have learned through my studies. And I was doing pretty well myself. Not great but pretty well. I still often had moments of deep despair. And sometimes I felt so good that I was obnoxious. I thought I had it all figured out. Read the article
I often find myself frustrated with the mental health and the medical health systems; systems that have often taught us that our first defense against a physical health, mental health, or life difficulty is reaching out to health care providers or some kind of invasive treatment or the use of a strategy that could have long term implications. These are systems that usually don't promote self-agency or prevention.
I wish we could all magically transform our thinking to "WRAP First". I think if we did that, many (not all of course) invasive treatments, hospitalizations, and long periods of discomfort and dis-ease could be avoided. Life could be so much more enjoyable. I am committed to spreading the word about "WRAP First". Let me explain...
Read the rest of the article
WRAP for People with Developmental Distinctions
This recently released workbook is for adults who have their own unique way of learning and/ or communicating; people who we may refer to as having developmental disAbilities. It can be used as a plan to support a person in order to reach a self-identified life goal. This book was written with the assistance of four experts by experience, and you will read how each of them is living WRAP in his/her life. It contains Crisis and Post Crisis Plans and provides tips key supporters can use when assisting someone who may learn and/or communicate differently than you do.
Click on the book to go to the bookstore
Mental Health Recovery Court
In 2008, the Kalamazoo 8th District Court of Michigan established a Mental Health Recovery Court [MHRC]. The program started after some local judges noticed they were seeing the same people over and over — mostly on misdemeanor charges rather than felonies — and that many of them had mental health challenges with co-occurring substance abuse. With the idea of getting at the root causes and finding ways to eliminate them before their crimes became more serious, these innovative justices took their idea to Kalamazoo Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services. With the collaboration of defense attorneys, the county prosecutor and almost every mental health program in Kalamazoo County, the Mental Health Recovery Court was formed.
The Wellness Recovery Action Plan [WRAP] has been a major part of this recovery-oriented approach since its inception. In the five years since the program began, 161 people have completed the WRAP class, 147 of which were participants of the program, 12 were staff, and 2 were natural supports of the participants. One of the judges also completed the WRAP training, which included making a WRAP plan for himself. According to Bob Butkiewicz, Program Supervisor for the MHRC, “WRAP became the philosophy of the court." Read more
WRAP in the Criminal Justice System
WRAP is successfully being implemented in a variety of ways with people involved in the Criminal Justice System.
WRAP Empowerment Photography
Looking for WRAP inspiration?
Using digital cameras, participants in this study took pictures depicting the impact of WRAP on their health and mental health recovery. They invite you to view their photographs and learn how these pictures depict their personal recovery journey. WRAP experts and participants worked with the University of Illinois at Chicago to mount this inspiring online exhibit.
WRAP® Goes to High School!
Twenty-seven high schools students from two separate high schools, and one project coordinator from Alberta Health Services, came together to participate in a groundbreaking initiative to bring WRAP® to High School students in Edmonton, Canada, Alberta. In the first phase of the project, each of the participants was guided through the 5 Key Concepts and the process of making their own WRAP. Most of the students who participated in phase one of this pilot project recently completed the second phase by becoming certified WRAP facilitators, trained by wellness professionals from the Copeland Centre and Alberta Health Services.
Let's Talk About Mental Health
Join Mary Ellen Copeland and hosts Nels Kloster and Robert Stack for a friendly and engaging talk about WRAP.
This show aired on BCTV on October 21, 2013
Click on the screen to see the interview
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.
© 1995-2014 Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD All Rights Reserved