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by Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D

How are the stressful, frightening events of these times affecting you? Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you avoiding food, or munching at will and putting on extra pounds? Do you feel anxious and fearful much of the time? Are your symptoms more severe or harder than usual to manage? Do you have distressing and troubling feelings that you have never had before? Are you constantly losing things, noticing that your memory is poor, that you are more irritable than usual? Perhaps you are feeling tempted by an addictive behavior that has been under control for a very long time? If so, you are not alone. People around the world are feeling the stress of these difficult times and it is showing itself in unexpected ways.

Hope for a new tomorrow
Filled with joy and peace
Filled with knowing
You are so worth it
You are so valuable
And you are so unique
There is no one like you
Rejoice in who you are and
Where you are going
Moving onwards and upwards
To new things, to brighter things
To exciting things
Hope for a new tomorrow

When Linda Meyer shared the story of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on her, her husband and seven children, including one diagnosed with autism, she actually said it in a lighthearted manner. The impact included no power for nine days and then losing power her family’s house, van and truck. Soon after the storm, before the damage could be repaired, Meyer fell and badly sprained her ankle. “I have to say it’s my WRAP that helped me through all of this. It’s what really kept me balanced and focused,” she said, referring to her Wellness Recovery Action Plan.

This summer (2012), a contingent of high school students from Bellerose Composite in St. Albert and Louis St. Laurent School in Edmonton participated in a pilot project that is aimed at empowering youth to be proactive in understanding issues surrounding mental health and wellness.

The winter newsletter featuring "The Power of WRAP" is now available, including articles by Mary Ellen Copeland, Matthew Federici and Khatera Aslami. You will also find more information about the WRAP Around the World Conference in Oakland; and keep up with the upcoming events and trainings.

This edition continues celebrating 15 years of WRAP and focuses on "Taking WRAP into the Future, the next 15 Years and Beyond". Also In this issue...."WRAP Goes to High School", Japanese WRAP Workbook, WRAP Correspondence Course, articles by Mary Ellen Copeland and Matthew Federici.

How do we feel about use of the term "mental illness"? The phrase is prevalent in mental health and may continue to be broadly used for quite some time. To the extent that its use destigmatizes (because it can mean "I am not crazy" and "I am not bad"), it is a good thing. To the extent that it validates the uniqueness of someone's experience and helps providers be empathetic, it is a good thing. To the extent that it helps find statistically valid and empirically confirmed biochemical or genetic aspects of mental health problems to create a wider range of effective treatment tools, it is a good thing.

But the New Freedom Commission and Uniformed Services Package say mental health care must be transformed to reflect the principles of the Recovery Model.

"WRAP for Everyday Lives", a webinar based on the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, introduces the infinitely do-able structure of WRAP for adults with distinct learning needs.

In this issue....answers to your questions about WRAP as an evidence-based practice; a message from Dr. Copeland; wellness tools for everyone and more.

Download the 2012 Summer issue featuring a special celebration of 15 years of WRAP. Read an article by Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland about the complete history of the development of WRAP; WRAP Around the USA, with updates about WRAP from all over the country; Copeland Center upcoming events, and more.

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