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The Way WRAP Works

Executive Summary

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) is a personalized wellness and recovery system born out of and rooted in the principle of self-determination. In 2010, WRAP® was recognized by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as an evidence-based practice and listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (http://nrepp.samhsa.gov). Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) released the results of a rigorous study that demonstrated significantly positive behavioral health outcomes for individuals with severe and persistent mental health challenges who participated in peer-led WRAP® groups. Research studies on WRAP® from UIC cited that positive outcomes were tied to the fidelity of the WRAP® facilitation model designed by Mary Ellen Copeland and developed by the Copeland Center.

Today, WRAP® is being widely implemented by behavioral health systems, however, significant compromises to the resources provided and fidelity in implementing WRAP® is falling short of the quality people in recovery deserve. People in recovery deserve the best services we have to offer!

Thousands of people across the United States and around the world use WRAP to deal with difficult feelings and behaviors, enhance their wellness and meet their goals. Join Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, Jawanza Hadley, as he takes us through a basic overview of WRAP® with a special focus on employment.

By Eric C. Larson

The nature of self-care is that there is no external validation from society that you are doing something of value. Hence the tendency to relinquish self-care as a rite of passage to work hard is a historical trend. Unfortunately some of my career success has been built upon the self-made premise that I show up consistently even when I don’t feel well.  Granted sometimes I feel better if I just get out the door and push through morning malaise but other times it is more distinct and this is where I lack awareness.

The Copeland Center's Summer newsletter is now available as a PDF file. Please feel free to print and share.

The Copeland Center celebrated National Wellness Week with three webinars designed to encourage individuals, families, and communities across the country to improve their health behaviors.

by Matthew Federici, Executive Director

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan can “Save Lives!”  I recently attended a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) Wellness Steering Committee, when it became clear that we need to shine a light on the whole health approach that WRAP® is in the lives of so many of us.  The SAMHSA Wellness Steering committee is a multidisciplinary Steering Committee representing “consumers”, providers, and researchers guiding national strategies to tackle the issues of whole health for people who are served by the mental health system as a result of alarming number of people with mental health diagnosis who are having significant medical issues including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and are receiving inadequate access to medical care.

Mary Ellen,
I realize you must be an extremely busy person so you can read this when you have some time on your hands. I was twelve years old when I was diagnosed Bipolar. I was on heavy medication schedules and in one mental hospital or another my entire childhood. By the time I was thirty-one years old, I opted not to have children as my doctors explained to me it would be irresponsible for someone as mentally ill as I was to bring children into the world. I was a recluse and eventually became a full blown agoraphobic. So there I was; childless, poor, alone, overweight and completely lost in a world that was sold to me from a very young age.

Know illness - know what wellness is worth. The single most important lesson diabetes has taught me is that self-care is a priority. The wisdom around living with Diabetes is hard won. WRAP helps me to capture that learning and to build upon habits necessary to maintain my life.

In this webinar, Sherri Rushman, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, will guide attendees through the process of identifying support related Wellness Tools and then using those tools to build a powerful WRAP. "Everyone needs friends we can talk to, pals to share activities with, and people we can depend on. This training is based on Mary Ellen Copeland's "The Loneliness Workbook" and we will explore: definitions of loneliness, images of loneliness, what loneliness means to you, why people may avoid you, how to use wellness tools to relieve loneliness, how to enjoy time alone, looking at your strengths, and how to have mutual relationships."

WRAP Facilitator, Dawn Heffernan, explored how WRAP has helped her create the plan that works for her around food. As Dawn says: "I struggled with issues around food, why did I eat ALL the cookies or chocolate, why did I have so little self-control around certain foods. I would like to share my journey with you and together we may shine some light on this difficult subject. I make no promises but developing your own WRAP around food is possible and achieving your goal is not as impossible as you might think."

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