What is WRAP?

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) is a personalized wellness and recovery system born out of and rooted in the principle of self-determination. WRAP® is a wellness and recovery approach that helps people to: 1) decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors; 2) increase personal empowerment; 3) improve quality of life; and 4) achieve their own life goals and dreams. Working with a WRAP® can help individuals to monitor uncomfortable and distressing feelings and behaviors and, through planned responses, reduce, modify, or eliminate those feelings. A WRAP® also includes plans for responses from others when an individual cannot make decisions, take care of him/herself, and/or keep him/herself safe.

The person is the one who develops their WRAP, however, the person may choose to have supporters, including health care professionals, to help them create their WRAP, but the individual remains in control of the process. Individuals learn to use WRAP® through a peer-led and peer-engaged group process.  The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery has developed and implemented a certification program for co-facilitators worldwide to promote fidelity to the evidence-based peer-group process.  WRAP® co-facilitated peer-based groups were studied through randomized control trial studies and demonstrated to significantly improve one's wellness.  The Copeland Center focuses on providing WRAP groups with fidelity to the evidence-based practices. We provide training and certification building networks of co-facilitators to expand access with fidelity to the practices that work best for people.  WRAP® and Wellness Recovery Action Plan® are registered trademarks of Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. AHP.   The Copeland Center for Wellness is a peer-run nonprofit organzation designated as is a Strategic Content Partner of AHP.  

WRAP® group participants create a personalized recovery system of wellness tools and action plans to achieve a self-directed wellness vision despite life’s daily challenges. Participants are encouraged, and when possible, assisted to continue meeting after the formal 8 to12 week period has ended and to support each other in using and continuously revising their WRAP® plans. A person’s WRAP® is a tool that can be used for a lifetime, and a voluntary WRAP® group can be a long-term peer support resource for ensuring that this valuable and personalized recovery system remains sharp and useful for building a healthy and successful life in the community. Formal WRAP® groups typically range in size from 10 to 15 participants and are led by two trained co-facilitators who are peers who use WRAP® for their own recovery. Information is delivered and skills are developed through presentations, discussions, and individual and group exercises. Key WRAP® concepts and values are illustrated through examples from the lives of the Co-Facilitators and participants. The Copeland Center exclusively offers WRAP® Online live peer group sessions based on WRAP® intended to serve those individuals that do not have access to in-person groups.  Although on-line groups were not part of the evidenced-based study the Copeland Center has based this program off of the practices from the in-person model and is currently evaluating its evidence-base. 

The key to ensuring that people receive the full benefit of using WRAP® is for the whole team of the health organization offering WRAP® groups, to understand and incorporate the ethics, values, and practices that the Copeland Center, its founder Mary Ellen Copeland and the grassroots peer support practitioners of WRAP® have established. 

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. Dr. Judith Cook, a researcher from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), released the results of a rigorous randomized control trial 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® co-facilitation model designed by the Copeland Center's founder Mary Ellen Copeland and a diverse group of her peers.


In This Section

3 Key Educational Steps

Getting a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) Program Started

In order to do mental health recovery and WRAP work, it is essential to understand and support the following values and ethics.  To offer co-facilitated WRAP® groups based on the evidence-based practice complete the pre-requisite work and the Copeland Center's Seminar II WRAP Co-Facilitator Certification Training

“Recovery and WRAP have changed my life.”

“I’ve gone from being totally disabled to being able to live a full and rich life. I am so grateful.”

“Everything has improved at our organization. People are recovering and moving forward with their lives. Our work is so much more fulfilling.”

“Finally, something I can do to help myself.”

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) was developed by people who had been living with a variety of mental health challenges and who were working hard to feel better and get on with their lives. In 1997, several dozen individuals who had experienced serious mental health challenges came together in northern Vermont for an eight-day gathering designed to initiate dialogues on how to improve their emotional and mental health. Many of the attendees had been residents of state psychiatric hospitals at various periods in their lives. They came together to discuss practical strategies for regaining and sustaining their own wellness. They did not know it at the time but this cadre of intrepid explorers was blazing the trail towards a new international self-help movement for wellness and recovery.

Join us for an Orientation to WRAP: An Evidence Based Practice for Mental Health Recovery.

This course is a 1.5-hour introduction to the Wellness Recovery Action Plan provided in an online environment that can be accessed remotely from wherever you are. Learn what the Wellness Recovery Action Plan is, how it can be used, and the research behind the evidence-based practice. 

NEXT SESSION - October 27 at 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT




The Way WRAP Works!

Check out our implementation guide that synthesizes scientific research and in the field observations. The Way WRAP Works!

WRAP & Recovery Books is owned by AHP. The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery is a peer-run non-profit training, technical assistance and advocacy organization that works in partnership with WRAP and Recovery Books to promote recovery education.